Opinion: new Lebanese restaurant, Leila, offers upscale comfort food in Downtown Detroit


photos courtesy of Leila website

Mary Fannon '21, Copy Editor

While arriving at the highly welcoming and warm atmosphere of Leila, located on Griswold St in downtown Detroit, I knew I was going to enjoy the food I was going to eat. Walking into a restaurant with highly diverse smells and hearing the chatter amongst people and the sizzle of the open kitchen is an immediate attraction.
Before going to Leila, I looked at their website and read their menu and backstory. This restaurant is named after the family’s grandmother, Leila, who was reportedly an amazing cook. Their inspiration behind opening this incredibly unique restaurant was their sacred Sunday brunch with their family in Lebanon. They tell of creating a specific menu rooted in Lebanise cuisine, in order to replicate those iconic Sunday feasts. Leila is said to have a sophisticated style and old-world hospitality, and can supposedly masterfully fry a falafel. That’s when I knew I had to go and see for myself how good this food was.
Once seated, our waiter greeted us promptly with glasses of water and piping hot pita. From there, I scoped out the menu and ordered the Fattoush for $11 ; which contained cucumber, tomato, pita and za’atar. Following the fattoush, I ordered the highly famed falafel for $10 with three pieces– chickpea, fava and spices.
After about 25 minutes my food came. Overall…amazing. The fattoush salad tasted tart and refreshing. The falafel, needless to say, truly lived up to the “hype”. For my first time trying a Falafel, I loved it and its unique flavor. It was at that point when the waiter came back and offered dessert. How could I refuse?
I ordered myself the Pomegranate Custard for $8, which was delicious. Although not my favorite part of my meal, it still has amazing flavor and taste.
My overall experience at Leila, including food and service, was a 10/10. Outstanding. It makes me so happy to see a local restaurant that isn’t just your usual hamburger and fries. I highly recommend that everyone visits this incredible restaurant.