Sacrificial Lamb Kabobs n Pizza

Middle Eastern
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

The menu at this new Dupont Circle takeout seems designed with late nights in mind. There are kebabs, a gyro sandwich and pizzas topped with kebabs. It has everything you might crave after an evening of too many margaritas.

Opened earlier this month by Tariq Hussain, owner of Capitol Hill Tandoor and Grill, the Sacrificial Lamb aims to elevate late-night food. The restaurant has a tandoor in back, where the kebabs and breads are made. Curries and desserts are made at the Capitol Hill restaurant.

Our top picks are the gyro sandwich platter ($9.95 with rice or crinkle-cut fries), well-seasoned lamb with thin slices of crisp cucumber, a dab of mayonnaise and some cilantro sauce. It's all piled on warm nan with an excellent chew. The boneless chicken kebab ($9.95) is juicy and comes with basmati rice. An earthy dish of spiced chickpeas ($4.95) makes a hearty accompaniment. For dessert, we liked the gullab jaman ($2 for two), the classic and often cloyingly sweet Indian specialty. The fried dough here is delivered hot, making it taste like a decadent fresh-from-the-oven doughnut.

Less successful are the vegetable samosas ($4.95 for two, with chickpeas), which are bland but not greasy. The seekh kebab with rice (beef or lamb, $8.95) has spiced, ground meat that lacks heat and is slightly dry.

Although pizza is on the menu, it was not available the day we visited. (The restaurant has had a problem getting enough gas to run both the tandoor and the pizza oven.) "We haven't got the whole thing going yet," said Hussain. "But the idea is to use our fresh toppings on top of the pizza. It's what makes us different."

-- Jane Black (Good to Go, Jan. 27, 2010)