Al Masri should be on your mental map because it’s the only strictly Egyptian cuisine in all of Northern Cali.There are two reasons to pay Al Masri an immediate visit: 1) You are a fan of authentic Egyptian food and can’t find anywhere in the city to get it, or 2) you’ve never had Egyptian food but think it may be the missing link in your life. Either way, Al Masri should be on your mental map because it’s the only strictly Egyptian cuisine in all of Northern Cali. This place takes their theme so seriously (even the toilet seat is decked out in Egyptian iconography) that it’s not a theme anymore, it’s a mind-trip. Walking in makes it easy to believe you are dining in the land of the Sphinx. Walking out you will likely be confused that you are still in foggy SF. Al Masri hosts special occasions often, and these people really know how to celebrate. But whether it’s a personal or national holiday, Al Masri feels festive. A projector runs vintage films of bellydancers on the wall, and every dinner comes with a side of live entertainmentwhether it’s live Egyptian music, roaming bellydancers, or both. Chef Sausan is a jack (er, Jane?) of all trades. She single-handedly cooks every dish, owns Al Masri, and is a bellydancing instructor. She’s been belly-dancing since the 70s, and her graduate students are also the servers here.
Salatet Betingen - fried eggplant, parsley, tomato, scallions, $6.75
Ta’miya - Egyptian fried fava bean “felafel” served with tahini sauce, $6
Taggen Samak - baked fish in tomato, onions, raisins, roasted almonds, $20
Firakh Fe Alforn - baked chicken in a rich cilantro, onion and garlic sauce, $18
Kufta Mashwiya - grilled minced lamb with butter-garlic sauce, $20
Baraber Mahshia - baked Cornish game hen stuffed with rice, onions, raisins, roasted almonds, pine nuts, $20
Thursday – Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.