A small but popular Middle Eastern restaurant has been sold out in Lexington.
But before The Oasis could be changed hands, the new owner had to make a deal: keep the food as is.
This is what Ahmed Saleh said he would do. Get help: For about four months, longtime owner Mahmoud Ahmed has been teaching Saleh how to make food that has kept fans coming back (in some cases every day) for over 20 years. So, yes, it will remain an authentic Mediterranean favorite.
“I have known the family forever, they are friends and they made me take me back,” Saleh said.
The restaurant’s ownership in Chevy Chase Plaza was officially changed this month after it was bought by Saleh from Ahmed, who bought The Oasis with partners in 2002.
Ahmed’s family posted a farewell message on the restaurant’s Facebook page saying, “I would like to inform our dear customers that we have sold out Al Waha Restaurant. We have been the sole owner for 20 years, but it’s time for new adventures! I would like to thank everyone for all the memories we’ve made and shared over the years.” Thank you for the support you have given us all since day one and for showing up and staying with us during the pandemic! We hope you will show the same love you have shown us all to the new owners!”
Ali Ahmed, Mahmoud Ahmed’s son, said his father, who is of Lebanese descent, came to Lexington from Detroit to work at another restaurant called Aladdin. Then he and his two partners decided to buy The Oasis from a Syrian family that had opened a Middle Eastern grocery with a small buffet of that name years earlier.
Ali Ahmed said Ahmed expanded the buffet, adding more dishes including salads and Lebanese food. Ali Ahmed said that over the years, Mahmoud Ahmed bought the partners and his father is now ready to retire and move back to Michigan where the family still lives.
So it worked with Saleh. “We have trained with him for the past four months, giving him all of our recipes and all the secrets of our ingredients,” Ahmed said.
So the shakshouka, fava beans, mujadara, shawarma, garlic sauce and all the other dishes are still available for lunch or dinner, which is a great relief for many customers.
Ali Ahmed said many regulars come every day for lunch. “We just tell the kitchen their name and they know what they’re making,” he said.
But Saleh is planning some changes: He’s bringing back the lunch buffet. “Very soon,” he said.
And he plans to add more vegetarian dishes, something he said customers have requested.
As for the regular roster, “if there’s room for an upgrade, we’ll do it,” he said.
what or what: mediterranean restaurant
where: 837 Chevy Chase Place
hours: 11 AM – 8:30 PM from Monday to Saturday
a call: 859-269-6440