The Grade Pending sign should have tipped me off, but I proceeded to see what a Middle Eastern-West African fusion was all about. I ordered the Lamb Chawarma (sliced lamb, parsley, salad, tomato, ras-el-hanout, tahini) for $6 on a wrap instead of a baguette, which was actually a hero. I had money left over to ask about their homemade juices, but they don’t make that anymore. Instead I got an order of falafel ($4; 5pcs).
I took a bite out of my wrap, surprised at how hard the pita was, and then disgusted at how tough the meat was. I spit some out and the two of my friends confirmed the same with their wrap. It eventually softened a little, but chewing through my food took twice as long as it should have. The other ingredients in the wrap blended well together, and the addition of the green peas balanced out the heavy spices.
I had to try a bite of my friend’s Original Famous K126 (beef, nuts, onions, spices, lettuce, tomato, pickle; $5). Whatever taste there was in mixing nuts into the meat was either faint or overwhelmed by the oversized bun.
The only redeeming quality of Kuti’s place is that it’s very cheap. I’d have given 2.5 stars, but will round down because I feel iffy about the health rating, given how the food turned out.
Kuti’s Place ★★☆☆☆
355 W 116th St (between Manhattan Ave & Morningside Ave) map
New York, NY 10026