Hummus ($7.95 to $12.95)
This is hummus you could call chickpea butter: smooth as custard, at once resoundingly rich but light and airy. You can get it plain or filled with a variety of toppings, including cinnamon-spiced nubs of ground beef. The toppings are nice, though somewhat incidental to the great hummus they sit on.
Shakshuka ($9.95 to $12.45)
Served in cast iron skillets with quivering eggs ready to flood the sauce with melty yolks. Zvibak uses fresh tomatoes from upstate and canned San Marzanos for a chunky, onion-y stew that takes beautifully to house-baked challah.* Like the hummus, it's full of depth, tangy-sweet. Also like the hummus, toppings of feta, eggplant, halumi, or spinach taste more alike than different.
Topped with soft chickpeas, gravy-like dried fava beans, and tahini.
Falafel Plate ($8.95)
Though the falafel balls are crisp and well-flavored, they're not as interesting as the hummus that comes with them.
Local 92 plans to make their pita in-house in the months to come, but what they have now is already quite good: well-toasted, thin but pliant and light.
Purple Babaganoush ($5.95)
Lightly smoky with a slight tart bite (the dip's pink hue evinces its pickled eggplant base).
Baked in-house, frequently served warm, it's a fitting sponge to mop up the shakshuka it's served with.
The small meatballs are served over fluffy, well-steamed couscous. Though the Middle Eastern take on red sauce is satisfying, this dish doesn't grow much beyond comfort food.
Chicken Schnitzel ($14.95)
The crisp, greaseless cutlet, served with crunchy Israeli salad, functions quite well as meat pita in between bites of wheat pita.
Made with couscous instead of bulgar, it's lemony, clean, and ever so slightly buttery, stupidly simple, yet a dish I couldn't stop eating.