Hoomoos Asli is exactly the sort of casual, grab-a-table spot I like for a workday sit-down lunch, when you want a menu and a glass of water but nothing formal in the least. And when you want awesome Israeli food. Which I often do.
The combination plate ($10.50) is two quarters more than my usual "Lunch Today" limit, but order a few extra 75-cent pitas and it's easily enough food for two. For a small combo, you get your choice of three salads and spreads; for a large ($14.50), it's four.
From the ten options, we tried a moderately spicy Moroccan salad with cooked tomatoes and peppers, somewhere texturally between a salsa and a stew; the hoomoos (it really is more fun to spell that way) is on the thick side, and in a huge portion. We could've used a little more acid, but it's still plenty tasty, particularly under a pour of olive oil with a pool of tahini. But the real winner is the sauteed eggplant. It's nothing but eggplant and oil, cooked down, and it's rich and sultry with a deep, concentrated sweetness. While everything we've tried at Hoomoos Asli has been pretty good, the eggplant is the dish I'd go back for.
100 Kenmare Street, New York NY 10012 (map)