I have always had a thing for Middle Eastern food. Could be that I am part Lebanese, could be it's largely vegetarian or could be that I'm just mad for the mezze platter.
Whatever the reason(s), it doesn't have much bearing on what makes this place so great. Because what makes it great is LOVE; love of only the best, freshest ingredients, love of technique and love of good, simple food.
If, as a general rule, you're under whelmed by falafel or hummus or baba ganouj or even pita bread, I promise you one visit to Amba will change that. The falafel is cooked to perfection - crunchy on the outside and almost creamy on the inside (that's where the love of technique shines through).
The hummus is fresh and delicious because apparently they make it in small batches several times a day. And the pita bread is in a class all its own - warm, soft and fluffy vs those cold, hard cardboard-like impostors. Unless you are a baker - or you are very cozy with one, I seriously doubt you have access to pita like this. These people promise it's easy to bake good ones at home. Maybe. I think it's easier to order a bag full and take them home.
Put all of these things together with a tangy, crunchy cabbage slaw, fresh tahini and a few house-made pickles and you have the best falafel sandwich this side of the Jordan River.
I love the hummus bowls too. They are big enough to share and include tasty toppings like fava beans, roasted eggplant and fried mushrooms. There's a vast array of salads and dolma made fresh everyday - great fodder for that top-shelf mezze platter I mentioned and/or a fresh catering option.
Now you notice their logo says, Amba - Falafel/Hummus/Salad/Fries. If you crave, I mean appreciate, great fries the way I do. You have been warned. Try these once and now you are the junkie and Amba the pusher.
If this is as close as I get to the Promised Land - well then, so be it.