On the way back from Kafr Qasim, we turned off the highway in Ran’ana where, we were told we’d find the best Moroccan food in the country. We went into the first gas station we saw when we came into the town, and the Iraqi attendant there told us where our restaurant was. It’d been weeks since we’d had anything but local food, and as delicious as that could be, we were getting sick of the humous and tomatoes and thyme and parsley and eggplant and rice and flat bread. What we craved was bitter lemons, dried fruits, hot red pepper paste and couscous—anything that diverged from the seasonal norms of the Eastern Mediterranean. We crossed our fingers and went into the place people had recommended so much. We noticed that in the window they’d posted two reviews they’d received back in the 90s. The accompanying faded photos made it seem like another century.
We laughed when we walked inside because it had the same kitsch appeal that its counterparts everywhere did. Someone asked whether there was a single Moorish design team, dispatched from Paris or LA, every time someone somewhere in the world wanted to open a restaurant called “Casablanca” or “Fez.” This one was called, “Le Levant.” We thought the name was clever, though Khalil remarked the place should have been called "Le Ponant." (Read More)