RESTAURANT REVIEW…ALI BABA LEBANESE…DAVID, PANAMA
LOCATION IS AV. SEGUNDA ESTE ESTE NEAR THE NATIONAL LOTTERY OFFICES AND NEXT TO PIPOS SPORT BAR. PHONE 777-1234. OWNER/MANAGER MR. BASAM
REVIEW TITLE – ALI BABA! NEW, CLEAN AND DELICIOUS!
Ali Baba is a new Lebanese Cuisine restaurant that I chose to have a New Years Eve dinner party for 6. The table was impecabbly set up by the waitresses who meticulously attended to us the entire 3 hours we were there. The atmosphere is clean and spartan with a wall TV playing Arabic music videos and decorative tiled tables and hookahs all about in the Arabic style. At this time, Ali Baba has no liquor but we were invited to buy wine next door at Pipos Sport bar and have drinks on the terrace which is adjacent to Pipos.
We decided to have cocktails there and our appetizers (Entrada mixto $10) which were a fresh, hot and scumptious mixture of fried kibbe, holiday special falafel with Arabic garlic sauce, fresh made salads fatouch, hummus, babaganoush, labne and pita bread. We especially liked the salads because they were fresh made and not thinned out like another Arabic place in David I ate at recently.
To accomodate the group with a sampling of Ali Babas food we ordered the house combination platter for four called Bandeja de Shish Mixto ($39), an order of Lebanese style Langostinos ($12) and my favorite, the beef tenderloin Shish Kabab ($10). The prawns and the portions were ample, hot off the large outside smoker grill and more salad favorites accompanied the dishes with rice, choice of potatoes and pita bread. The natural juices served were rich in flavor especially the homemade Lebanese lemonade which was quite refreshing. Ice was provided tableside and pitchers of water were continually poured. Truly, our cup runneth over! After dinner we were treated with mixed Arabic pastries like Baklava, a complementary mint hookah and dark roast, rich Arabic style coffee.
The big surprise was the cost! At $80 dollars (cash or credit cards) we stuffed ourselves, laughed, danced to the music and were very pleased for a little over $10 dollars a piece including the soft drinks. That sum included all taxes and we didnt even ask for the hubilado discount! Two doggy bags also went home with us! Basam was congenial and attentive as was the waitress Ana. We were pleased to leave a nice gratuity. In conclusion, give this new Lebanese place a try and I, for one, believe you will find it bright, clean and satisfying and at a cost that is a real bargain compared to other local Lebanese places. I can be reached for further comment here or at 730-7651.