1000 Figs

3141 Ponce de Leon St., (504) 301-0848; 1000figs.com

While figs are in the name, falafel is what comes to mind first at this charming little Faubourg St. John eatery. The falafel balls are hand-formed to order and either napped into sandwiches or built into generous platters. Either way, they come with a lavish variety of garlicky sauces and crunchy vegetables, which give the possibility for different flavor combinations at each bite. The rest of the Mediterranean menu of dips and salads and such ripples with fresh produce. Everything here is small, from the beer and wine list to the often-cramped confines. It’s also endearing, delicious and a terrific value. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. $

+5 

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- in New Orleans, La. Friday, July 17, 2015. The lamb ragu hummus with pine nuts and peas, one of the five hummus options at Shaya, a new Israeli restaurant on Magazine St.

J.T. Blatty

Shaya

4213 Magazine St., (504) 891-4213; shayarestaurant.com

The run-away success of chef Alon Shaya’s namesake eatery continues to be an object of wonder in New Orleans restaurant circles, but it’s really not so mysterious. Before it racked up national awards, this Besh group eatery drew a local following by expanding the possibilities of Middle Eastern staples and expressing their essential goodness with a sharp eye for detail. Hummus with both a seasonal harvest of chanterelles and a decadent drizzle of brown butter, morsels of amberjack griddled inside sheaths of grape leafs, the kibbeh nayah (a beef and lamb tartare) all show the mix of traditional and contemporary that sets the pace here. The pita, piping hot from the wood-fired oven, is perfection. Lunch and dinner daily. $$$$

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.