Middle Eastern Pop-up Yalla Finds Permanent Home
By Chelsea Lin
July 29, 2019
Late-night Middle Eastern eats come to Capitol Hill
We’ve been following Chef Taylor Cheney’s career for years, more for her passionate side hustle in Middle Eastern cuisine than for her years of working in restaurants such as La Bête and Mistral Kitchen (both now closed). For years, her heavily researched, skillfully prepared dishes from the likes of Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon have been available only at her Yalla pop-up, but in March, she found a permanent home for it (Capitol Hill, 1510 E Olive Way) in the walk-up space that has housed Kedai Makan and Tortas Condesa.
Cheney says it’s the perfect spot to stop by for saj, a freshly made Lebanese flatbread that she uses as a wrap, filling it with meat or cheese, plus olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula and mint, and which is easily eaten on the go ($9). Our favorite variation came as a recommendation from the chef: the flayfleh harra (Lebanese chili paste) wrap with soft white cheese ($2 extra), perked up by those accompanying veggies and herbs.