the kebab shop – mira mesa / san diego, ca
A recent restaurant addition to the Mira Mesa area is The Kebab Shop. Their original location is downtown on 9th and Market but this is my first time visiting one of their establishments. The Kebab Shop took over for the old Starbucks location in the Ralphs shopping mall (oh my god, they actually removed a Starbucks instead of adding a new one!) and whatever vacant store front was next door to it. I noticed they were renovating the place a few weeks ago on one my grocery shopping trips to Ralphs. I was in the area to pick up something from Ralphs again when I noticed that they were open and I decided to stop in and check it out.
Their whole deal is with “Doner Kebabs” which look a lot like a gyro to me. According to the history on the website though, this is originally from Germany and is based on the Kebab Shops in Europe. So they’re not exactly gyros. There are some differences, one being that the doner kebabs are served on flatbread instead of pita bread. There’s also more ingredients inside (more veggies) and no tzatziki, but another creamy garlic yogurt sauce (no cucumber or dill in the sauce). Also, they offer lamb, chicken and falafel options for the doner kebabs, no beef or beef + lamb combination here that you see so often for gyros.
The Doner Kebab ($6.25) tasted a little different, too. It’s either the spices or the lamb (or both) that give this a little different flavor. It’s a little spicier than a gyro and having all the veggies in there gives it more crunch. The sauce also doesn’t have the cucumber or dill which I missed just a little bit. They offered me extra sauce at no charge while I took and poured a little onto each bite. The lamb was tender and just a bit spicy. It’s different from a gyro, but also a little the same. They’re in the same ballpark, anyway.
I also got some of the saffron rice on the side. If I had read the menu correctly, I would have see that getting the side to go costs $2.25, but if you eat in then it’s only $.75 cents extra. Silly me, I got it to go. I really actually wanted to try one of their side dishes, the Minted Orzo Zucchini, but I settled for the rice. I honestly did not care for the rice. It was very dry and tasted bland to me. I was expecting something a bit more flavorful and not quite so incredibly dry. I like fluffy rice. Maybe it’s not supposed to be fluffy. Oh well.
In addition to saffron rice, you can also get fries or falafel on the side. Instead of a Doner Kebab, you can also try it sandwich style with one of their Shawarmas (it’s like the kebab but on a bun). They also have Shish Kebab Plates if you want your food on a stick. Shish Kebab offerings include: Salmon, Shrimp, Beef and Grilled Veggies. Check out the website for the full menu!
It’s great to have another restaurant in Mira Mesa serving up some good food that’s a little different from the usual fare. I still want to go back and try that Mint Orzo.
The Kebab Shop
(in the Ralphs Shopping Center)
9450 Mira Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92126