Founded in 1997 by Souheil and Rima Kodsi, Layalina is a family-owned and -operated restaurant that specializes in Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. Set in a small Arlington strip mall, this place’s humble exterior might not look like much, but step inside and you’ll be transported into an environment of traditional Lebanese charm and splendor. Brightly tiled floors and white linen-covered tables are set against intricate textiles and beaded curtains adorning the walls.
Despite the striking visuals, however, food critics and regulars alike emphasize that the food is the real star of the show here. Dignitaries and celebrities from the Middle East as well as Arlington locals have praised Lavalina’s traditional dishes, like shawarma, beef arayis, and kibbeh. Not particularly hungry, The Maxwell? No worries. Lavalina offers a lounge area for sheesha (also known as hookah) and smaller late-night menu options.
5216 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22205