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Leena’s Mediterranean Grill

Tulsa

$$ (Average entree $11-$15)
6746 S. Memorial Dr.
Tulsa
918-940-2900

Leena’s offerings include dishes that are Greek Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Mediterranean and European Mediterranean. For this reason, the restaurant attracts a fair share of diners from European or Middle Eastern countries, who can usually find something familiar on the menu. The freshness and quality also accounts for a growing number of Tulsa-area regulars as well. Featuring a wide variety of mouth-watering choices, the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat buffet amount of choices is staggering. There are also daily chef specials consisting of different beef, chicken or fish dishes that are either baked or grilled.

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July 2016

World of Flavors

When you enter Leena’s Mediterranean Grill, you’re greeted by a colorful, tidy interior illuminated by large amounts of natural light streaming through the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. The brightly painted walls and ceilings evoke feelings of being someplace close to the ocean — in a Mediterranean country, perhaps. Which is exactly what the owners are after.

Leena’s Mediterranean Grill is a family owned and operated business, run by Sal Agha, and his uncle Najib Agha. They combined their talents and skills to create Leena’s in order to share their family’s love for good, healthy food from home. Named after Najib’s youngest and most outgoing daughter, Leena’s opened in their current location at 67th and Memorial in March 2015. They originally opened in 2009, and were located in the food court of Woodland Hills Mall. Plumbing issues forced them out of the mall, but they like their current bright, open space in a freestanding building across the street much better, and are happy to call it home.

Most of us have heard of the “Mediterranean Diet.” We think of it as a healthy way of eating, which consists of consuming plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy nuts and oils. The owners of Leena’s Mediterranean Grill agree with this basic definition, but want to take it one big step further: they want us to know that Mediterranean food is not only healthy, it’s also incredibly flavorful and delicious.

Leena’s menu is very diverse. Mediterranean food is quite varied, as there are many countries that consider themselves to be part of this region of the world. From Morocco in the west to Lebanon in the east, and many more in between, Leena’s has a little bit of everything. The restaurant’s offerings include dishes that are Greek Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Mediterranean and European Mediterranean. For this reason, the restaurant attracts a fair share of diners from European or Middle Eastern countries, who can usually find something familiar on the menu. The freshness and quality also accounts for a growing number of Tulsa-area regulars as well.

Leena’s caters to the different body clocks of their varied customers, as Europeans and Arabs tend to eat later in the day and take longer to eat a meal, viewing it as a social event. For this reason, the restaurant has a steady flow of customers throughout the afternoon and evening hours.

Ramadan, a holiday during which people fast from sunrise to sunset and lasting from June 6 through July 7, is a busy time for the restaurant. They take reservations for the evening hours for the duration of the holiday, because the late dinner rush is so big.

Regardless of what you order off the menu at Leena’s, you will first walk past all the fresh, beautiful dishes the restaurant offers as part of its all-you-can-eat buffet. Featuring a wide variety of mouth-watering choices, the amount of choices is staggering. However, there are options on the menu that are perfect for those who are unfamiliar with the Mediterranean style of cooking, or who are new to the restaurant.

Their meze platter is a great introduction to the restaurant’s menu. In Mediterranean cooking, meze is an appetizer. Leena’s meze platter allows customers to pick and choose from the different salads, dips and cooked vegetables that are offered. The meze dishes can also be served as sides when a traditional meat platter is ordered, or can be made into an entire meal.

Leena’s has a huge selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as many gluten-free options. There are also daily chef specials consisting of different beef, chicken or fish dishes that are either baked or grilled. And of course, many tradition dishes such as gyros, kababs and shawarmas are available. Nomatter how the food is prepared, it is all cooked to perfection and flavorful beyond belief.

Sal and Najib have incorporated many family recipes into their offerings; their family has loved to cook for many years. No canned sauces or marinades are used — everything is made from scratch, from the tabbouleh (made with fresh, flavorful parsley) and baba ghanoush (delicious smoked eggplant) to the smoothies and the iced tea (still made from loose-leaf tea).

“Most restaurants might buy their spices by the gram,” Sal says, “but we buy ours by the pound.”

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