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Zaza Mediterranean Cuisine to open this week in OKC

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
Zaza Mediterranean Cuisine in Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Emblazoned in bright red lights, reading “Zaza Mediterranean Cuisine,” this new restaurant located on SW 74th Street, in a strip shopping center off of I-240 is soon to join Oklahoma City’s growing collection of Mediterranean-oriented restaurants.

And while the exterior looks normal and complete, the interior reveals that it is still a work in progress, with the scent of plaster and fresh paint in the air and workmen brandishing wrenches and pipes making their way through the place.

But a perusal of the menu that will be soon be presented to customers there include items not normally found in such places. Those dishes include green mussels from New Zealand, poached Norwegian salmon, saffron sea scallops, and bruschetta,. The latter item is described as consisting of “diced roma tomato, garlic fresh basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar served on Italian bread”.

That document also includes a heading titled “Pasta” that offers penne arabiota, penne primavera, spaghetti seafood, that is composed of pasta, sea scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams and tomato sauce, and spaghetti puttanesca.

A children’s menu will allow children to sample something called a “kofta sandwich.” But patrons of Mediterranean eateries in the Oklahoma City area will recognize the offerings found under the title of “Kabob Corner” that indicates that in addition to a variety of kabobs they will also be offered hummus and baba ghanoush. The eatery’s opening will increase the proliferation of the variety of lentil soup that is found in Oklahoma City, since along with a “soup of the day’ it will also serve “French lentil soup.” And the history of the individual who will operate that establishment, Dean Higazy , accounts for the diverse items that will be served there.

Higazy, who is a U.S. citizen originally from Egypt, has operated successful restaurants in both Miami and Tampa, Florida, where he acquired a taste for seafood that he learned to prepare with a Mediterranean flavor. He also points out that seafood has always been part of Mediterranean cuisine, and is often found in Mediterranean restaurants situated in the coastal states of the United States.

It is possible that Oklahoma’s distance from seaports accounts for the fact that such fare is not offered in Mediterranean places here. Subsequently, he relocated to the United Arab Emirates where he operated another popular eatery and was often featured in a television show that was broadcast throughout the Arab world.

Higazy optimistically indicates that he looks forward to opening this Thursday.

The restaurateur, who has the poise of those who are accustomed to being on screen, reports that he has been warmly received by the people of Oklahoma City and looks forward to his establishment becoming part of the increasingly diverse culinary scene that is found here.

Zaza Mediterranean Cuisine
2219 SW 74th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Phone: 405-602-5060

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Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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