-4 Snaps! Strongly recommended
Mana Mana opened recently in the shadow of The Koshery, a short lived Kosher Mediterranean grill. In the ever growing SOHO neighborhood another Mediterranean restaurant- this one Israeli influenced- seems like overkill. But this place holds it's own probably because the owner is the same guy who has had another by the same name in Clearwater for years. There are some menu changes at this location and an expanded offering. They have also made changes in some of the dishes like no longer mix lamb with chicken in the Shawarma.
I start with that Shawarma plate ($14.99). The chicken is tender and tasty, with a delicate flavor from the marinade. The accompanying Israeli salad is bits of cucumber, tomato and onion, garnished with parsley and dressed with olive oil and lemon. It's light and refreshing.
Next, the Falafel Pita ($6.99) is served in a basket and is stuffed with the ground chickpea patty, eggplant and other veggies, and a creamy yogurt dressing. The patty is moist enough to not fall apart with every bite, a problem that is present in lesser Falafels, and the flavors pop.
The interior is bright and modern with four flat screen TV's showing pop and R&B music videos somewhat loudly. Shawarma with Taylor Swift is probably a unique SOHO experience. Beverages are available only in cans or bottles and are served in Styrofoam cups. There's a small draft beer selection (3 Budweiser products) and no wine list. Parking, especially in the evening when the neighborhood gets lively, can be a problem. They offer take out and dine in options and according to our server, weekend hours may vary. If you are in the mood for Mediterranean food, especially with an Israeli flare, Mana Mana is worth a try.
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