I love kebabs and I love Hayes Valley. (It’s also where I happen to live.) Clearly it’s no surprise that my favorite quick ‘n’ healthy dinner spot is Hayes and Kebab.

If you’re familiar with the ’hood you’ll surely have noticed that there’s currently two eerily similar kebab joints on Hayes Street. I recently dined at the Original Hayes and Kebab (now on Hayes and Laguna) and got the scoop on the dining drama from the owner. While I’m not gonna go into all the dirty details, lemme just say that based on food alone, when choosing which kebabery to frequent, go for the original.

The semi-new original Hayes and Kebab is located in a gorgeous corner space with high wooden-beamed ceilings and an adorable outdoor patio space. While the menu includes pretty much the same delicious classics they had at the old spot, they’ve upped the anti and general scrumptiousness in the new spot.

Start your meal at H and K with their legendary Babaganoush (charbroiled eggplant topped with herbs, lemon juice, tahini, mayonnaise, and olive oil served with warm pita). If you’re a vegetarian—or just a falafel lover like I am—try the falafel wrap. It’s two of their expertly-made falafel balls wrapped with fresh veggies and hummus.  If you’re a meat lover with a big appetite, try their always-succulent Adana Kebab plate a foot-long kebab of ground lamb served with buttery Middle Eastern rice, bulgar pilaf, and salad.

For a meal that’s quick, affordable, and easy on your waistline, I urge you to (re) try the Original Hayes and Kebab.

P.S. If you flirt with the dude at the cashier just a little, you might even score a heavenly slice of their homemade baklava. It’s worth a shot . . . trust me.

580 Hayes St. (between Octavia St. and Laguna St.); 415-861-2977

Photo by kennejima, flickr.