Saturday, February 18, 2017

South Bay: Oren's Hummus Shop

My parents were in Taiwan over the Lunar New Year, so my sister and I semi-celebrated by first going to my father's cousin's house for dumplings and then later having dinner with my Ahyi.  While throwing out ideas for where to go, Meet Fresh came up and I glomped onto that real fast.  (As you've probably already figured out, I'm a huge fan.)  Then it became a matter of where in that plaza we should get actual food before dessert. 

My sister got stuck on the fact that Oren's Hummus Shop has unlimited pita, so there we went:
















I don't know why I was expecting something simple (it is Cupertino and the land of Apple after all), but I certainly wasn't expecting the almost glitzy d├ęcor at Oren's:






















So many chandeliers!  That's some pretty fancy lighting going on there.  My Ahyi told us that the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows are open during warm days.  I can see how it would be a relaxing place to chill.

The meal started out with some complimentary pickled cabbage:
















When the restaurant is a hummus shop, you definitely have to order hummus.  We went a little overboard and ordered two for the three of us.  We got the hummus with lamb ($12.50):
















The lamb was braised with pomegranate and topped with fresh mint, which gave it this sweetness that my sister and I loved.  And the hummus!  So smooth, so creamy!

Since my ahyi isn't a big lamb eater, we also got the hummus with beef ($11.95):
















The Moroccan spiced ground beef came with pine nuts and strangely reminded me of the dry Chinese beef jerky my father used to make at home.  I guess Moroccan spices are similar to Asian ones?

We probably should have stopped there, but we couldn't help also wanting to try some sides.  An order of three costs $11.95 and you can choose from a long list.  We're eggplant fiends, so we got (starting from the bottom of the photo) the babaganoush, the Romanian eggplant (fire roasted eggplant with red bell peppers, lemon, cilantro, and garlic), and the Oren's eggplant (a puree of fried eggplant, caramelized onion, hard boiled egg, and spices):
















Our selection of three also came with Moroccan carrots, marinated beets, and some amazingly thick yogurt.  We LOVED all of the eggplant sides.  The babaganoush and the Romanian were both fire roasted, so they kind of tasted the same...smoky.  Oren's eggplant, on the other hand, was completely different.  It was savory and sweet and delicious and I would highly recommend trying it out.

I was originally most excited about the cauliflower fries ($4.95), which came with a pesto yogurt:
















But in the end, it paled in comparison to the eggplants and the hummus.  Fried cauliflower is awesome while crunchy, but if you don't eat them quickly, sogginess settles in fast.

And finally, the pita.  The unlimited pita.  You can choose between wheat or regular or you can do what we did and get both:
















They come piping hot and super fluffy.  The perfect vessel to scoop up all the hummus and eggplant your little heart can desire.  We had so much pita that I felt like one by the end of dinner. 

The portion sizes at Oren's might not look like a lot at first glance, but together with the all-you-can-eat pita?  It's a lot.  We had so much food leftover that I was able to make two separate meals out of it.  When our server asked if we would like a separate bag for our leftover pita, my sister jokingly asked if the bag came with extra pita.  It did.

Bless him.

Would I go back to Oren's Hummus Shop?  Yes.  1000% yes.  A couple things I would do differently though.  I would skip the hummus with beef and try another one of their hummus combinations.  The ground beef was just a bit too dry for my taste.  I would also not order both the babaganoush and the Romanian eggplant at the same time, since they taste virtually the same.

Oren's Hummus Shop.  Great service, great food, great prices.  Go.


Oren's Hummus Shop
19419 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014 
(408) 982-5237
http://www.orenshummus.com/

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