Dametra Café specializes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. The small cafe opened in 2008 and is even smaller now having only outdoor dining due to Covid 19 restrictions of California. The same table set up runs along the street in front of the building with tables divided by planters and heaters and separated from the street by a wooden fence. The narrow, small tables are covered with bright yellow oil-cloth tableclothes and set at street level rather than sidewalk. It makes some difficult to get in and out but didn’t seem to keep the crowd away. It’s reputation is that there is often a line for walk-up guests but we were lucky and got a table when we arrived. They offer the same menu at lunch and dinner but add sandwiches to the lunch offerings. They also have a more limited menu for curbside pickup. Service was friendly, helpful and efficient. Even with an ever-changing supply of table guests they did not rush us to finish up our wine so they could reseat the table.
First out was a basket of sliced warm white bread. It had a wonderfully soft interior and a slight crisp to the crust. It was served alongside a plate of olive oil with a dash of balsamic in it. Both were very good and they offered to bring more with lunch if we wanted.
We opted to have 2 of their entrées and a bottle of wine. The Lamb Shish Kebab was made with marinated lamb tenderloin that was skewered with tomatoes and onions and charbroiled over an open flame. It was served with rice pilaf, dipping sauce for the lamb and Greek salad. It was a generous portion. The lamb was nicely cooked and left pink inside. It was juicy and with good grilled flavor and went well with the dipping sauce. Some of the grilled onion slices were a bit hot but the tomatoes were all wonderful. The Greek salad had a creamy dressing which I thought was too similar to the meat sauce but both were good. The pilaf was fine but ordinary.
The Greek Moussaka was baked layers of eggplant, tomatoes, ground beef, potatoes and topped with Béchamel and parmesan. A wonderful fresh tomato sauce surrounded it. The eggplant was cut in thin slices so it was very tender but almost hard to detect. There was lots of ground meat and potatoes with a really thick layer of custardy Béchamel on top. It was a delicious and generous plate of food. The bread also was good dipped in the tomato sauce.
The dessert menu sounded good but we were really full. However they really wanted us to try the Baklava and so brought out 2 small pieces with some whipped cream. It was made with layers of rich, sweet filo dough piled with chopped nuts, syrup and honey. I saw the regular portion and it was huge. It was sweet, crispy and a perfect finish to a fine meal.