Just as we were walking out of the La Taqueria Taco Shop having just had 4 tacos for lunch. @604foodtography suggested that we all go for dessert.
For a person who usually have light lunch during the working day, I was not too keen on doing this. That was until @604foodtography said the dessert he was talking about is one of the 101 Things To Taste Before You Die identified by the Vancouver Magazine.
That … is one thing I will not pass up.
That restaurant is located at the basement of the Dominion Building, one of the grand historic buildings in the young city of Vancouver. This 99 year old building was the tallest building in the British Empire when it was built. Because of its ornate structure, this building had been used to film many movies some of which includes The Neverending Story and Battlestar Galactica.
Nuba is the name of the restaurant we went to. The entrance to the basement restaurant is just at the corner of West Hastings and Cambie.
Nuba is a Lebanese restaurant. It was interesting to note that Nuba used to operate from the very spot that the La Taqueria Taco Shop is today. I guess business is good and they moved to this new location. Actually Nuba also has another smaller restaurant on Seymour too.
The decor is trendy and chic. It has a nice ambiance and just the perfect setting for a simple leisurely meal with friends.
Nuba menu is known for their Mezze. Mezze is like Spanish tapas … small plates. Nuba’s Mezze is quite reasonable too with prices ranging from $4 to $7.
Anyway, I am more interested in this one item of the 101 Things to Taste Before You Die. You know what it is?
Well, it is this …
The Najib’s Special is described as crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt, and served with tahini.
I think they try to avoid describing it exactly what it is because it is more aptly described as Deep Fried Cauliflower. Yeah, the words “Deep Fried” is a taboo word to use on menus in our health conscious city.
It was an interesting way to cook cauliflower. It is really crispy and the color is in deep brown. Not only it looked kind of almost burnt, it actually somewhat tasted like burnt too. The plate above is $6.25.
We also got Hummus ($5.50). Frankly, I am not a big fan of humus. It is the mashed chickpeas used to make this that sort of puts me off. I personally dislike mashed beans of any kind. But @edlau loved this … and he said this several times.
Hummus is a popular food in the Middle East. It is also known as the oldest prepared food in history although that claim is hard to confirm. Still it has a long history without a doubt.
The pita came with the Hummus.
The last item we ordered was the $6.75 Lam Kibbeh. It is grilled grain-fed halal lamb patty, vegetables, pinenuts, burghul and spices … and I am not familiar with half of these ingredients. It looked like it is a kind of pressed meat and grains into patties and then fried.
It was good. I like it. The thing is we had to share this between four people. So I got only half of the patty.
The bill just came up to about $24. I had a great time. During weekdays, I often go without a full lunch and will snack instead. All of us in the company got used to that because we often work with teams in different time zones. So lunch time in Vancouver is almost the end of day in the Eastern Time Zone and so we often take the opportunity to get more done over lunch time.
So it was great being able to get out of the office once in a while to have an extended lunch break.
Anyway, below is Nuba’s menu in case you want to check it out. As always, just click to see a larger image. I told Suanne that we should go and try their dinners because the menu looked so interesting.
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“It was interesting to note that Nuba used to operate from the very spot that the La Taqueria Taco Shop is today”
The Mexican place that was in the space before Nuba was called the Mouse and Bean and was in no way associated with La Taqueria.
I learned of this info from @foodtography. Anyway, I checked and found the following addresses on the internet.
Current La Taqueria: 322 West Hastings
Current Nuba: 207 West Hastings
The Mouse and The Bean (closed): 207 West Hastings.
Perhaps you misread what I was saying? I was saying this in the context of us having just eaten in La Taqueria before walking across the street to Nuba.
Can anyone else validate this?
I think you’re both misunderstanding each other. Ben said that La Taqueria is now in the space that Nuba used to be in, which is correct as if you search for 322 Hastings on GoogleMaps, you’ll see Nuba still in that spot.
The Mouse and The Bean used to occupy the space that Nuba is in NOW.
322 West Hastings USED TO BE Nuba and IS NOW La Taqueria.
206 West Hastings USED TO BE The Mouse and Bean and IS NOW Nuba.
LOL! I think between the three of us, we have managed to confused half of the readers.
Oh … I am going to let it go. Too much thinking wrecks my brain.
Totally misread that sentence there Bill!
This is talking bout the locations.
La Taqueria was Nuba.
Nuba was Mouse and Bean.
And yes, when it’s good, hummus is fantastic. It’s rather healthy as well. It has to be made well to be good though.
I was also disappointed by the cauliflower. Maybe we just got a bad batch?
The Najib’s Special is the deep friend cauliflower, its wonderful. I have ordered it every single one of the 30 or so times I have eaten there. I find all the food exceptional; Jodie & I always order the hummus, the najib’s special, the majadra, and I additionally order the chicken tawook. For dinner I have enjoyed the Lamb Kebabs dinner and The Fatoosh Salad is a great salad. All the ingredients are organic and taste really fresh. The meat is uniquely and nicely flavoured with spices and sauces.
The place is packed every night now, it has been discovered. Despite this popularity, service is prompt and care individual. You can still have an intimate lunch or dinner experience even when its packed. The music is a curious and enjoyable fusion of 30’s jazz meets Rajastani music meets Cypriot Dances meets Mayan chants. I had smoked a series of excellent hashish pipe hits and my taste buds devoured my usual choices with ravenous gusto.
This is a special food experience.
The Marijuana King of Canada himself has commented on your site.
What a milestone. @_______@
He he he … I was not sure myself because I thought Marc Emery was in jail. So I checked and it seems like he’s out on bail. Anyway, it might not be him because anyway can comment under any name. I think I once had Elvis and Michael Jackson commented on chowtimes too. So, there you go! LOL!
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Humus is the best food in the world. It is healthy, simple to make and tastes great.
Here is my recipe for making humus:
Hi there! I write a blog about being vegan in Vancouver, and I was wondering if I could have permission to use your photograph of Nuba’s Najib’s Special for my list of top ten best vegan dishes in Vancouver. I will link to your site, if you like. If this isn’t okay, no worries, just thought I’d ask. It’s a better picture than the one I have. 🙂
Hi Gabrielle: Go ahead and use the photo — providing a backlink would be great too!
Great! Thanks for your prompt response.