We came upon Shami last July, 2013, while trying to have dinner at the not-yet-open Padi. It was a positive experience, though the only one who would want to rush back is my 11-yo daughter Mika, she positively LOVED the salad there.
Shami’s menu is pretty limited, all they had when we visited were kebabs and sandwiches, in addition to a few salad and appetizers. It calls itself a Middle Eastern restaurant, but the owners are Yemeni, as indicated by the posters on the wall and the specific seasonings in the food. Indeed, we found most dishes to be more spicy than you’d usually find in other Arab cuisines.
I tried both the grilled chicken and the beef kebabs, both were nicely spiced and very tasty. The chicken was a bit dry, however, and too charred in parts. The flavors were very homey, there was little sophistication on these dishes. The yellow rice was perfumed with cinnamon and other spices and was addictive – though a bit too spicy for my youngest daughter. The meals came with salads, and Mika just adored it. I can’t say what it was about it – surely the dressing – but she ate every last bit, and has been asking us to take her back since.
The only thing that didn’t prove popular was the felafel. The kids found it too spicy, and since a falafel food poisoning incident 24 years ago, I haven’t been able to eat it.
Platters are about $10, sandwiches I think were $8.
I’d recommend it for when you need a kabab fix.
16490 E 14 St
San Leandro, CA 94578
M-Su 11 am – 10:30 pm