Last month, Fat City reported that restaurateur Lutfi Khalifa was just waiting to pass all the necessary inspections before officially throwing open the doors to his biggest fried-fish venue yet, a 3,400-square-foot venue at 3037 Main.
The restaurant is now open and serving the fish dishes — cornmeal-dusted and deep-fried, steamed, or blackened and sauteed in olive oil. Khalifa is best-known for his fried fish (basa, catfish, whiting are the most popular choices), lightly coated with a crunchy, peppery cornmeal crust. A complete meal includes bread and two side dishes.
Khalifa's list of side dishes includes a choice of excellent stewed greens, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti red, green beans, red beans and rice, potato salad, coleslaw, french fries or fried okra.
Desserts are displayed in a refrigerated case near the counter and include plasttic-wrapped bean pies or clear plastic boxes containing fat slabs of iced chocolate cake, lemon sunshine cake, carrot cake or strawberry mousse.
Patrons order at the counter and meals are delivered to the table. There's no tip jar on the counter, and when I asked where to leave a gratuity, the young woman who rang up my order said, "In my hand, baby."