Review: Dyafa.

The newest venture from DPG is a collaboration with Reem Assil.

Chef Daniel Patterson has a plethora of restaurants in the Bay Area such as Coi, Alta, Aster, Alfred’s, Plum Bar, and LocoL. His latest project is with Reem Assil of Reem’s California, an Arab bakery in Oakland that opened last year which I have yet to visit. Their partnership resulted in Dyafa, focusing on vibrant Middle Eastern food, located at the old Haven spot in Jack London Square. The dinner menu has a selection of bites and breads, cold and hot mezzes, and larger family style dishes. Since it was just Tommaso and I, we ordered numerous mezzes to share.

Mana’eesh: Bread with Za’atar and Olive Oil (8.5/10).

Mana’eesh is a traditional Middle Eastern dough that can be topped with herbs, cheese, or even ground meat. This warm bread was sprinkled with za’atar (spice mix of dried hyssop leaves, sumac, sesame seeds, salt) that had a wonderful char and chewiness to the dough.

Muhammara: Roasted Red Pepper with Walnut and Pomegranate. Mutabbal: Charred Eggplant with Lemon and Tahini (8.5/10).

Both of these cold mezzes were excellent. The muhammara had sweetness and tang from the roasted red pepper and earthiness from the walnuts. The mutabbal had a lovely freshness from the lemon and olive oil and creaminess from the eggplant. Both spreads were fantastic with the homemade pita bread.

Pita Bread (8/10).

The perfect vessel for the cold mezzes. My only criticism was that the pita bread came out after the majority of the mezzes so we ended up waiting so we could eat it all together.

Hummus Kawarma: Spiced Lamb with Sumac (8/10).

Creamy luscious hummus topped with the crispiest shredded lamb with olive oil and sumac.

Haliyoon: Blistered Asparagus with Fava Bean Aioli, Pita Crumbs, and Fried Egg (8/10).

Once again, I had to order asparagus since it’s in season. The pita crumbs were a genius addition to the dish that added great texture.

Hibaar Mahshi: Stuffed Squid with Freekeh and Zhoug (8/10).

Nicely charred and tender squid were stuffed with some type of grain, maybe bulgar? The vibrant zhoug sauce (a Middle Eastern condiment made with hot peppers, corinader, garlic, and spices) underneath packed a punch.

Booza: Orange Blossom Ice Cream with Crispy Phyllo, and Candied Orange (8/10).

A refreshing ice cream with chewy tart candied orange pieces and crispy light phyllo nest on top. My type of dessert.

Awameh: Donuts with Chocolate Cardamon and Lemon Yogurt (8/10).

Airy light donuts were accompanied by a warm chocolate cardamon dipping sauce and a tangy and cooling lemon yogurt.

Dyafa has only been open a few weeks and our experience was great to say the least. Every dish that we had might be considered simple but everything was extremely well seasoned and executed well. Service was friendly but a little slow, seemed like they needed more servers to accommodate the amount of diners. Regardless we had a great time and my rating is an 8/10.

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