Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Gazala's Place
Gazala’s Restaurant is the creation of Chef/Owner Gazala Halabi, who celebrates her culinary heritage as an Israeli Druze. Hospitality is a Druze hallmark—guests are embraced and welcomed with a flavorful meal. Says Gazala, “I want my restaurant to be a place to eat Druze food, to sample Druze culture and be treated like family. It is a little slice of my village on Columbus Avenue."
New York, NY 10019
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Israeli
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
between 48th and 49th St
$30 and under
Gazala's Place Ratings and Reviews
Had a great pre-theater meal at Gazala's Place. Small storefront with WONDERFUL Lebanese food. The home made bread served with dips was a cross between a crepe and pita and was warm and wonderful. Best hummus I ever had (really!)- made and served with roasted chickpeas. Wonderful labneh as well. My son, who has lived in Jordan, thought all was great. My whole branzino was spectacular- fresh, and lemony, perfectly cooked. Huge bourekas. For the meat eaters there were positive reviews of the kibbeh. All in all, terrific food. The poor single server worked her butt off, but was always pleasant and efficient. Needs help!
This is the kind of New York City find that is, sadly, vanishing. A specific cuisine, well prepared, in a neighborhood fixture that is totally consistent and sui generis. Not fancy at all, but a wonderful spot for a pre-theater supper with your spouse or good friends who understand what makes NYC, NYC.
We weren't sure when we walked in and felt it was really small - more like a pizza parlor. They don't have a liquor license so we bought a bottle and sat in pretty cramped space. However, the food was delicious, whole fish was superb, wonderful desserts, really good value. Table turn-over was pretty robust for a Thursday night.
Amazing, amazing food. We went for brunch and it was a wonderful experience. The restaurant is both really tiny and a hole-in-the-wall, but the food was phenomenal. It's also one of the few BYOB brunch places in NY - so make sure to pack a bottle of bubbles!
My friend arrived early at Gazala's and I arrived late, compliments of the NYC subway system having a "bad day". My friend ordered an appetizer of falafel balls while waiting for me. When I arrived, there were only two other diners - on a Sunday at 7:15 pm. There was no ambience, no music and a bored-looking waitress who clearly did not want to be there. It was not an atmosphere conducive to enjoying a pleasant dinner. My friend said that the falafel was so-so. We decided to leave. I was disappointed because Gazala's got great reviews and the expectations I had did not come to fruition.
We had another spectacular meal here. However, honoring reservations always seems to be a problem when you first arrive. The hostess/waitress (there's only one) didn't have our res and asked me if I had booked it on Open Table. When I said yes, she rolled her eyes and walked away. She did end up seating us. I had made the res a week in advance because we were a party of 8 and we had theater tickets. Still worth it because the food is insanely good and the price can't be beat.
My husband and I have been going to this restaurant for over a year. The food has always been good and is reasonably priced. The wait staff was efficient and welcoming. However, on this most recent visit the waitress was extremely surly and downright rude. This treatment persisted throughout the meal. The food was still good but we will not be returning there due to the service.
Don't be put off by the outside of Gazala. When you look in and realize that it only seats about 20 people, and it looks "worn" you may want to go somewhere else in Hell's Kitchen. Don't do that - go in and enjoy the food. If you like fish, be sure to order the grilled fish as it tastes like it just came out of the sea. Note that this restaurant is BYOB. I'd strongly urge getting a reservation since it is so small.
This is our second time there and it was as good as the first time. FYI- its' byob. The service is fine. Food comes out in a timely fashion and it is so tasty. It is Mediterranean fare and this time I had the chak-chooka. The branzini is worth it as is the lamb and hummus dishes. Very reasonably priced. It is a tiny place so you can't spread out.
My review is regarding the hostess, Illiana. My experience was quite possibly the strangest, and first such experience, in my 10 years of living in NYC. Despite having a reservation for four people and a half empty restaurant with availability of comfortable seating for four, we were offered a table against the wall where we would have to sit in a single file line. When we asked why, Illiana had a demeaning manner and her interactions with us had racial undertones, which were shocking. Even her colleague stared at her in bewilderment. We left and went to another lovely restaurant around the corner. Racism has no place in any establishment in this city where we pride ourselves on our diversity.
The food was very good and the staff was very helpful with menu suggestions.
Unfortunately it was a rather warm evening--and there was no air conditioning. My dining companion asked for ice for his soda, and we were informed there was no ice available.
I would go back but on a take-out basis only the dining area was just too warm.
The restaurant has a very authentic touch and a nice ambient that comes with great food and lovely music. The variety of dishes is great, the food is delicious and the service is superb. It is a small place but exactly that makes it so special and intimate. You feel like being in Palestine, in one of the restaurants with the locals. Highly recommended.
Gazala's Place is a Druze restaurant, and I admittedly am only beginning to learn what that designation means. Based on the food, I know that it is a reasonable lunch spot with fresh, delicious food that the chefs have taken care to prepare. I had the spinach and goat cheese boureka, a flavorful, flaky pastry, and my friends had the vegetarian plate, the chicken kebab, and the falafel sandwich. We all left satisfied and nodding to each other that this would become a new lunch spot for us. Terrific.
Gazala's Place: Huge disappointment! A self admitted foodie, I was so excited to find a small, fun, different type of dining experience. We are so laid back and tolerant—who want to eat if you're tense? So I read multiple reviews, and thought this was the perfect place for an after Broadway dinner. Alas, it was disappointing on SO many levels. It started with our hostess, who, simply put, is rude and ignorant. Indeed, to everyone who came in the door—she snapped at everyone.
First, as we walk in with our party she snaps at our family “close the door now.” She was so rude and insistent, that my wife and adult children ended up standing on the sidewalk outside, looking in through the glass, while I discussed our reservations. We showed up ½ an hour early and asked if we could be seated—but also made it very clear that if that was not possible we were more than happy to return. While Gazala’s place is small, it was mostly empty, and when she looked tense I thought in my head “what’s she going to do with the empty tables—seat a part and hope they finish in ½ hour so that we can be seated?” Eventually she seated us, and after a longer wait than was reasonable glasses of water were brought to us, all while I am thinking “what do they do when the place fills up?”
Unfortunately there was broken glass particles in my wife’s glass of water, so she just skipped it. At this point things are kind of low, so why bother. On to the food-- Mahamar Pie, pita dough topped with sun-dried pepper, tomato, onion and spices made with whole wheat baked pita dough. Sounds wonderful—but sadly it is a disaster. Order it if you like dough, because you are going to get a lot of it! Dry, flaky (but not in a good way), and forget about fillings! Two flecks of sun dried tomato and onions—again a disaster. And this purported to be only of their specialties! The long hair found in the food was not particularly appetizing. At this point is time to make a gracious exit and call it good.
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