I’m always grateful for an addition to Old Town Fairfax that broadens the restaurant scene, so I’m glad there’s a new restaurant that offers Lebanese cuisine to join the mostly kebab places in Fairfax. Al-Maza’s forte is definitely the appetizers. My family and I ordered three – hummus, lebneh, and baba ghanoush. All of the appetizers seem to have been run through a blender or food processor, making for a very smooth, creamy texture. The hummus and lebneh were tasty, although the lebneh was lacking the “bite” that I associate with the dish. I’m used to baba ghanoush being mashed from eggplant for a more “lumpy” texture, but Al-Maza’s dish seemed fine.
My wife ordered the vegetarian platter, and the falafel, dolmas, couscous, and other dishes made for what seemed to be a nice combination of tastes and textures. I thought my shawarma beef main course, however was disappointing, since the beef seemed to have been marinated in vinegar, so it had a sour taste. My daughter pointed out, however, that this might be the Lebanese style, and I’m more used to Turkish shawarma. The sour flavor seemed less evident in my daughter’s shawarma chicken dish. The entrée selection is limited, offering just three options of shawarma, kefta, or kabob from chicken or beef. The kabob might have been the best choice.
The restaurant offers Lebanese wine and beer (Almaza, which, without the hyphen, means “diamond” according to our waitress). Our waitress was quite friendly and, after a short wait, resupplied us with pita bread. With tip, our tab for five persons came to $135.