This part of Austin carries the same sultry edge as the East Village in NYC. Parking is a little challenging and the pedestrians even more so as they cross the street willy nilly [perhaps heading over to Forbidden Fruit across the street...]. Phara's large patio hosted a wonderful guitar duo and belly dancer the night I visited, and the proprietor, Phara mingled and spoke with guests as if it were one giant party. This would be great for a romantic date or a large group of friends, and there is even a separate 'Sultan's' room for private parties. The indoor dining room carries interesting art with a darker, living-room feel compared to the fairy-tale outdoor space.
The food exceeded expectations. I ordered the vegetarian sampler, which had traditional mediterranean favorites and included pita, salad, and rice. The unique flavors and textures made these worth many future visits. The Aegean salad has a delicious dressing, too. None of the flavors are overbearing, and all of them complemented each other. Looking forward to trying some of the meat dishes on future visits.
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