On the hunt for food that’s fast, healthy, and a little different? Enter Yalla, a new fast casual Mediterranean restaurant chain for the whole family. Yalla just opened two new locations in Downtown Pleasant Hill and Ygnacio Plaza in Walnut Creek. While the restaurant itself feels nice enough to take out of town guests or meet up for a business lunch date, it’s spacious, clean and quick, making it perfect for a family meal.
Yalla’s mission is to serve fresh Mediterranean food using traditional spices and classic grilling techniques in an atmosphere reminiscent of an urban Mediterranean market. Guests choose between a pita wrap, a platter, or a salad, then choose various skewered meats (salmon, steak, kefta or chicken) falafel, chicken schawarma (gluten free), or shalafel. The side dishes portions are bright and fresh and the seasoned rice, potato salad, and the carrot salad were especially tasty. Some kids might be a bit unsure of new flavors and colors, but Yalla anticipated this and offers a wide variety of food that’s sure to get your kids curious. (Ours loved the pita, hummus, and steak!) If you’re not too full, or interested in dropping by for just dessert, try Yalla’s perfectly tart Greek frozen yogurt with chopped Baklava and honey syrup. (Yelp reviewers love the greek yogurt with sour cherry syrup, too.) For the adults, craft beer and locally-sourced wine is always on the menu.
Families Love Yalla
The (Pleasant Hill) restaurant has a modern design with plenty of seating—there were even round tables that could fit groups as large as six. The bathrooms were fully prepped with changing tables, and were exceptionally clean. High chairs were readily available. They also have crayons and paper for busy kids upon request. The line service was excellent and the employees aptly answered even our questions about spiciness, preparation, and preferred sides. If you prefer eating at home, Yalla also offers take-out. Yalla is “green” with 100% compostable packaging, down to the utensils and cups. The Pleasant Hill location is centered in a bustling shopping district where you can catch live music while you window shop.
Bold Modern Eats
Yalla makes a big impression design-wise. The restaurants feel sleek yet friendly with their cool color palettes, exposed light fixtures, and salvaged wood decor. There’s even two lemon trees planted in the Pleasant Hill location, paying homage to their new home in the Bay area. We loved Yalla’s nutritious menu and can’t wait to see where they expand. Three cheers for more family-friendly dining!
Downtown Pleasant Hill
55 Crescent Dr., Ste. F
Pleasant Hill, Ca
1813 Ygnacio Valley Rd. (Ygnacio Plaza)
Walnut Creek, Ca
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. everyday
Do you love Mediterranean food too? Have you tried Yalla? What did you think?