Kosher Israeli street food coming to Adams Morgan

Riki Alkoby is the owner of Oh Mama Grill
Riki Alkoby is the owner of Oh Mama Grill (Photo by Dan Schere)

Fans of kosher Israeli street food will have a new place to go with the impending arrival of Oh Mama Grill in Adams Morgan. Owned by Izhak Levi and Riki Alkoby, the same husband-and-wife team that operates the Oh Mama Grill in Rockville, the new location has no announced opening date, Alkoby said.

The couple signed a contract in February for what had been the site of Astor Mediterranean on Columbia Road, said Alkoby.

She said that opening a restaurant in the District was her husband’s “dream” and “vision.”

Alkoby expects the Adams Morgan restaurant to be casual, as opposed to “a fancy sit[-down] place.”

The Oh Mama Grille menu includes falafel, shawarma, a house kabab salad and a Moroccan fish plate.

“I think [customers are] going to feel the Mediterranean atmosphere,” Alkoby said, adding that the new restaurant will use an orange and black color scheme. “The way we design the place, the colors, it [will transport] them to a Mediterranean area.”

As of Aug. 18, Alkoby was waiting for the results of a health inspection.

An attorney is working on a liquor license. And Alkoby is working with the Orthodox Rabbinic Council of Greater Washington to find and hire a mashgiach to oversee the restaurant’s adherence to the laws of kashrut.

The Rabbinic Council, or Va’ad, certifies the Rockville location as kosher. Alkoby and Levi opened their first location five years ago.

At first, the couple thought of their restaurant as being “more [of] a hobby then a profession” and “just for fun.” They were pleased by the reaction from customers, she said.

She said the volume of phone calls, text messages and emails she’s received about the Adams Morgan restaurant has convinced her that there is a strong demand for the food and atmosphere Oh Mama Grill will offer.

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