Friday, March 16, 2012 / 10:35 AM
Browsing the pages of Yelp (gulp), Relish noticed that Al Waha (3191 S. Grand) had apparently closed, "two weeks ago" according to one Yelper (and noted here as well by the RFT's Ian Froeb). Al Waha (Arabic for "the oasis") was located in the space of the former Sameem, which recently relocated to the Grove.
When Al Waha opened two years ago, it was certainly the only restaurant in the city serving both Afghani and Bedouin cuisine, and at the time, was only one of two Bedouin restaurants in the country. Its menu featured dishes from the Bedouin tribes of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, all authenticated by the mother and grandmother of owner Riyad Al Wadi.
An on-site worker confirmed the closure, saying there had been a change in ownership, but a new restaurant would open there "in a few weeks," serving the same type of Afghani-style cuisine.
Relish will not soon forget the day we discovered Al Waha, completely by accident on a leisurely stroll down S. Grand. We were immediately welcomed by Al Wadi, offering up a big smile and a cup of cardamom-infused coffee. We lament the passing of any local restaurant, let alone one so singular.
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