In a small business strip off of U.S. 17, Jilla’s Gourmet Kitchen brings in an array of customers all looking for a taste of homemade Mediterranean cuisine. In this case, Mediterranean is a blanket term as Jilla’s has dishes from Greece, some from Lebanon, a few from Italy. And week after week, those customers leave happy and fulfilled.
Jilla’s is a small and charming bistro that is only open during the day, making it a very popular spot for brunch and lunch. All types of parties frequent this restaurant from dates to business meetings, many of them regulars who return frequently, if not on a weekly basis.
This is because Jilla makes small changes to her menu each week while always keeping in mind seasonal ingredients. For instance, tuna salad shows up occasionally that can be enjoyed by itself or in a wrap. Another week can see the addition of grilled chicken naan that might be replaced the following week by fattoush, a Middle Eastern salad with sumac seasoning and pita chips.
Most of the menu is static, including Jilla’s popular stuffed grape leaves. This appetizer comes out so freshly prepared and warm that the rolls can fall apart but are delicious no matter what form they’re in. The stuffed leaves come with a few slices of recently baked pita and house made tzatziki sauce.
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Another favorite on the menu are the unusual curried chicken dumplings. These steamed treats look like potstickers and are cooked with curry, then come with a side of peanut sauce. The multiple flavors work well together, creating a slightly spicy and sweet combination to intrigue your taste buds, if you like curry and peanut sauce of course.
Jilla’s also has a great selection of liquids from soups to smoothies that are advertised at the restaurant. Guests are especially fond of Jilla’s flavored teas, like peach and raspberry. Feel free to ask your server about the daily specials, as well as any other concerns regarding allergies or restrictions.
Because the restaurant makes sure to use fresh (and locally sourced) ingredients that are then freshly prepared, there can be a little bit of a wait time for the food to be served. However, the wait isn’t unreasonable and Jilla’s food is well worth it.
With a variety of Mediterranean dishes lovingly created by experienced hands and a menu that can bring new surprises each week, the steady flow of regulars comes as no surprise at Jilla’s Gourmet Kitchen. The atmosphere in the petite restaurant is relaxed and comfortable, making it a great setting to try a new dish and send your taste buds on a journey.
At A Glance
What | Jilla’s Gourmet Kitchen
Where | 4390 Spa Drive, Little River
Hours | 9a.m.-3p.m. Mon-Fri
Information | facebook.com/jillasgourmetkitchen, 843-399-9301