There are at least two very good reasons to get to know Kan Zaman, the Middle Eastern restaurant, hookah bar, and bakery just up the street from the West Side Market in Ohio City. One is the unlikely nightlife that spills forth from the place on weekend nights, when traditional belly dancing and Arabic singers meet falafel platters and shish tawook. But Kan Zaman's other rightful claim to fame is its weekday lunch buffet, where $5.99 gets you free rein over a spread of rich and smooth hummus, smoky baba ghanoush, refreshing tabouli, pickled vegetables, beef Kafta, and chicken Kaliyah, among numerous other daily specialties. And the getting's especially good right now: The Jordanian family that runs the place has just returned to town for the winter, thus upping the odds that each day's buffet menu will include one or more painstakingly fashioned delicacies, among them an otherworldly vegetarian stuffed zucchini. It's all served in a delightfully appointed dining room that's heavy on dark wood furnishings and melt-away-your-worries ambiance. — Erich Burnett
At 1616 West 25th St., 216-621-2222, kanzaman.us.