Ba-Bite (Piedmont Ave., Oakland)

I heard good things about this place through word of mouth and Luke Tsai in the East Bay Express. Order at the counter, they give you a number and bring the food when it’s ready.

Hummus ($11.50 with falafel and pita) was good but I like a less creamy texture and more lemon. I liked Ba-Bite’s well enough to get it again, which is more than I can say for Oren’s.

Warm pita were as good as I’ve had short of freshly baked in house.

Falafels seemed great but next time I’ll get them on the side instead of getting soggy in the hummus.

Lamb kefta ($7 for two a la carte) were nicely seasoned though on the dry side.

The salads all seemed to have sweet elements such as raisins or dried figs. We ordered a large beet salad ($9) to share, which sounded like the “driest,” but there was something sweet in the dressing and half of what looked like beets were actually sweet potatoes (which I guess they cook with the beets so they’re almost as red).

Small but thoughtful selection of beer and wine. Got a bottle of Antonio Sanz 2013 Verdejo for $20, decent, good price considering it’s $13-14 retail.

Two hummus + falafels, one salad, and lamb kefta was overkill for two. We took home one kefta, maybe a quarter of the hummus, three falafel, and some pita.

Overall a very good value, especially for the neighborhood.

http://www.babiteoakland.com

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/salad-days-and-shawarma-nights/Content?oid=4402546

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/WhatTheFork/archives/2015/12/29/best-bites-of-2015