Growing up in a family of Middle Eastern descent, I used to place an embargo on any food that resembled home cooking. There was no way it could compare to Mom’s, right?
Over the years, my opinion has changed. I’ve slowly come to realize that there are plenty of excellent Middle Eastern food options in the South Bay. This thinking led me to Oren’s Hummus Shop, located in Cupertino’s newly opened Main Street development on Stevens Creek Boulevard. This is Oren’s third location in Silcion Valley—the other two are in Mountain View and Palo Alto—and they specialize in authentic Israeli cuisine. They import certain items straight from Israel to guarantee authenticity.
The interior décor of the restaurant is stunning: wood accents, posh leather booths, modern lighting and a magnificent chandelier. The service is also top-notch, as we were attended to in a timely manner and never left wanting. The menu is simple but remarkably complete.
We ordered up two of their most unique items: the Hummus Lamb ($12.50) and Cauliflower “Fries” ($4.95); some Chicken and Beef Skewers ($14.95/ea) and a side of Falafels ($4.50) for good measure.
The cauliflower “fries” are deep-fried cauliflower, seasoned simply with salt and served with a side of pesto labne (i.e., Arabic yogurt). I thought they were terrific, as the simple preparation combined with the deep-fry really accentuated the taste of the cauliflower. The sauce was a perfect companion. The Hummus Lamb was also quite good, as the gaminess of the lamb really blended well with their creamy hummus. The Chicken and Beef Skewers were cooked tender and moist but could’ve been seasoned just a little more. The falafels were so good that I’d say they were 85 percent like Mom’s! I enjoyed the strong cumin aftertaste.
However, the real star of Oren’s is their freshly baked pita bread. Available in either white or whole wheat, we devoured a huge, steaming basket-full. Their fluffy pillow-like softness enveloped whatever was wrapped for mouthfuls of carby delight. This is definitely not the place for Paleo diets. My only regret is not ordering pita bread to-go for my breakfast the next day.
Oren’s is a great addition to the Main Street shopping plaza, and a welcome addition to the Silicon Valley dining scene. With delicious food and stellar service, Oren’s is worth venturing outside of Mom’s kitchen. Just don’t tell her that.
Oren’s Hummus Shop
19419 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino.