Rustic L.E.S. Delivers With Moroccan Flavors - NYC

Rustic L.E.S. delivers with Moroccan flavors

The meat and potatoes dishes at the new Rustic L.E.S. are exactly the kind of food you'd want after a day spent bushwhacking in the boondocks–or if you were on a drizzly date in the Eastern reaches of the Lower East Side.

As with his BistroTruck, the restaurant's chef, Yassir Raouli, understands the substantive allure of Moroccan-flecked comfort food.

So a strapping lamb burger ($15, add $3 for duck bacon) is wrapped in caul fat for richness, pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet, then seared on a grill. This burger is, at heart, a hugely enticing sausage on a bun. On the side: double-crunch fries that are first fried in peanut oil, then in duck fat.

An alternate option is the lamb meatballs doused in zippy cumin tomato sauce ($13) and gratin pomme de Terre ($8)–each spoonful of potatoes as cozy as a feather-down coverlet.

Should you crave a side other than spuds, the flavors of Raouli's Moroccan childhood surface in the abundance of vegetables, such as the wonderful fried cauliflower ($6) and zippy carrots charmoula with harissa ($6). Each is fit for a vegetarian main, but hearty enough for a carnivore.

Rustic L.E.S., 124 Ridge St. (between Rivington and Stanton sts.); 212-677-6450 or