That La Shish serves a pretty mean lamb kebab should come as no surprise, given the restaurant's name. Owner Nawwaf Said is justifiably proud of the entire menu at the modest eatery he runs with his wife, Bayan. Said reserves his highest praise, however, for his wife's tiramisu and baklava, calling them the restaurant's "secret weapons."
Bayan Said's tiramisu is indeed commendable, but her baklava is without peer in the Triangle. Made with walnuts, cinnamon, orange blossom-scented sugar syrup and phyllo pastry in perfect proportion, it puts the soggy, saccharine specimens offered at other Middle Eastern shops and restaurants to shame.
The Saids credit imported Middle Eastern butter for the textbook shatter-crisp texture and golden brown color of the phyllo pastry in their baklava. As an educated guess, I'd say that this butter probably has a higher fat content than American butter. This kitchen-science explanation satisfies the brain, though the taste buds insist there must be some magic in that butter.
Until recently, you could only experience that magic at La Shish. Now that the Saids have opened Jasmin, a mall food court eatery whose abridged menu includes the baklava, there's a second option.
Now if there were only some kind of magic to take care of mall parking.