6 at Astor Pl.; L at First Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
1st St. to 14th St., Ave. D to Third Ave.
Sure, it's sad that a small photo shop bit the dust to make way for the third arm of a hookah mini-empire, but now you can chill on the sidewalk and smoke a Sex on the Beach hookah across from Tompkins Square Park. Inside, protruding plaster simulates cave walls while stenciled wax paper covers the recessed lights in the low ceiling. Truly, the décor takes a back seat to the casual Middle Eastern fare which makes up for typicality with abundance. Entrées cooked over seasoned wood chips—such as the seared sirloin steak and a seafood combo of grilled jumbo shrimp, salmon and calamari—are accompanied by grilled veggies, an Egyptian salad, and rice or fries. In addition to drinks like Horus Sahlab (nuts, coconuts and milk) and hibiscus tea, customers order giant hookahs packed with one of a few dozen flavors of shisha: cognac, margarita and specialty blends such as the Silver Fox which mixes apple, peach, vanilla, and melons to pleasant effect.Extra
Be forewarned: An 18% gratuity is added to all checks.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights feature belly dancing shows from 10:30 p.m. and there are live musical performances on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Mixed grill kebab, $22.95; Horus combo (hummus, falafel, babaghanuj and taboli), $15