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“Pretty good.”
Review of Habibi - CLOSED

Habibi
Dining options: Dinner, Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Seating
San Diego
Level Contributor
56 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Pretty good.”
Reviewed August 22, 2011

My husband and I went to try this place out after seeing an ad in a coupon book/mailer. There aren't many Arabic/Mediterranean type restaurants in the area, so we were curious to see if this place was any good or not.

For a weeknight, it was relatively slow, not too many people actually eating there. Hmm. Atmosphere was decent once inside, but located in a somewhat rundown (and under construction) strip mall. Service was good, and the waitress never let my cup go empty.

The food was pretty good. The entrees came with a choice of soup or salad - the salad was a Middle Eastern type of chopped salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, chickpeas) with a lemony dressing. The soup was a blended lentil soup, reminiscent of split pea. I enjoyed the salad, but my husband did not care for the soup.

The entrees were not quite what we were expecting - I had the Chicken tikka plate (grilled marinated chicken breast) which was excellent. The chicken was very juicy and flavorful. It came with a choice of rice - I had the white basmati, my husband had the saffron (which was a yellow saffron flavored rice pilaf). Both rice side dishes were sprinkled with some type of fried noodle (?), with almonds, and soaked green raisins. It was a little bit weird at first (I was expecting more of a Persian style rice), but in the end, I liked the white basmati (a little bit salty and sweet at the same time).

My husband did not care for the saffron rice, and did not like the shawarma entree - he felt the meat was too sweet. He was wishing he had ordered the #1 entree (the ground beef kabob) instead.

Overall we were pretty happy with the food and service, and will be back (just won't order the saffron rice or the shawarma).

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ManekiNek0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    6
    4
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
299 reviews
235 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 264 helpful votes
“Go for the food and service, not the view or location”
Reviewed July 10, 2011

Habibi (loosely translated as special one) has great food, good service, very reasonable pricing, and a modest wine list (no full bar). Although promoted as “Mediterranean Cuisine” the Iraqi owner and family add their special touch to the menu, which is somewhat akin to Greek and Turkish cooking; spicy flavorful – not spicy hot. Apparently seating over 100 people, the restaurant is surprisingly large for an ethnic specialty, especially in its location; a location that is a very ordinary strip mall and best to be ignored. The Kebbeh (deep fried seasoned beef), Tabouli (tomato, onion and parsley salad), Hommus (blended gabanzo beans), and other mezzas are all classic preparations of ample proportions. Entrees feature a selection of beef, lamb, chicken and fish – a selection for most palettes. In particular the Koubbah Musilia (wheat pie stuffed with onions and beef) and the Masgouf (a specially prepared 2 lb. catfish) are rarely seen. The family platters are especially good value. Entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Although modest in breadth the wine and beer selections are of quality and reasonable priced. This was our first experience of this restaurant, opened about a year ago, and it will not be the last.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank 22club58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Falls, Montana
Level Contributor
89 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Decent place for an inexpensive lunch.”
Reviewed January 21, 2011

If this is one Escondido's best restaurants, this town is in big trouble. Didn't eat anywhere else in Escondido, so can't compare. Tried to find an upscale Mexican restaurant, but most are strip mall, fast food, holes in the wall. Habibi is decent enough restaurant, but not a 4 or 5 star as other reviews would suggest ( only 3). Good hummus, but lamb was overcooked and potions were small. No beer or wine license. The owner was outstanding. Really good service. Would support him if I lived there.

  • Visited January 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rxnroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A Great addition to Escondido Eateries!”
Reviewed January 16, 2011

It has always been said that Escondido needs a more diverse selection of restaurants. Habibi is exactly that, and makes the grade in so many ways.
it is located in a building that has been 2 or 3 different esablishments over the past few years, and the stip mall is not the most inviting, but do not let that fool you. If you like authentic Middle Eastern food and great friendly service, this is the place for you.
There were four of us in our party, and we started with many questions about the menu. The server was happy to explain the different foods and even the origin of some of them, giving us reccomendations of what to try. He was even very willing to check on the ingedients of items to address one of our party's allergy issues. We all tried something different, and were very happy we did. My dish was the Koubbah Musilia, described as Iraqi comfort food. Something I have never tried before, and well worth it! All of the dishes were excellent, and we left with take home containers of leftovers. The bill came to about $60 after tax and tip for all of us, and we ordered some of the more expensive items. Most entrees are around $10. A GREAT value.
Take the chance and support an excellent family run eatery in Escondido. I know we will be back. We live here, and would love to see it remain so we can become repeat customers.

  • Visited January 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank secondalrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Just perfect!!!”
Reviewed December 25, 2010

Excellent service, food is just great, the price is affordable, food is on time for my busy schedule and the most important thing for me is that is family own.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mounstrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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