Layalina is a small unassuming spot on the big strip of Wilson Blvd in Arlington. Close to Seven Corners, , it can be daunting to know which left to take as anyone who has ever tried to navigate the jumble of roads in Seven Corners can attest to. The parking is lacking, but once inside you realize it was worth the extra steps.
They offer the standard Lebanese/Mediteranean cuisine, but they do it so exquisitely. The atmosphere is another contributing factor to their charm. Tapastries on the ceiling and comfy chairs. It almost has a family room feel. Cozy and inviting, the staff is warm and welcoming. It Is also a hookah lounge at times. If this bothers you, you might want to call in advance to see if it will be an issue.
As I do at every restaurant I try, I have to order the stuffed grape leaves. They do an incredible job with this staple mezza. Strong flavor, but not overpowering. We also decided to try the fried eggplant. This was probably the more surprising of the two. I expected the standard breaded and fried variety, but there was no breading to be had. What was even more surprising was that it was not missed. It had the lovely texture of fried eggplant without the distracting layers of breading. It was fabulous.
Since this was lunch, and not dinner, we decided to go with some sort of sandwich and settled on the Chargrilled Kafta which is a mixture of beef and lamb, onion and spices. It is served with what they call Middle Eastern Coleslaw. What it really is is a cabbage salad. It is crisp and fresh and very delicious.
If you are In the mood for Middle Eastern and want to enjoy it in a warm friendly environment, Layalina should be added to your must try list.
Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: (703) 525-1170