Kalí Greek Kitchen, a casual Greek restaurant that opened this summer on California Avenue, offers an easy escape from our busy schedules and the chance to take pleasure in a relaxing meal.

In bright daylight, the street-side seating is inviting. Three striped umbrellas provide shade above the wooden tables. Inside, the large open windows let light pour in, illuminating the modern decor. Additionally, the wooden floor and chairs, with tables made out of long pieces of wood, provide for a rustic look. White walls, blue accents, hanging plants and reoccurring Greek symbols provide the perfect place to get in some high quality Instagram photography.

Manager Cuglar Vular prides himself in the use of locally sourced and organic ingredients. According to Vular, the restaurant aims “to bring local fresh ingredients for people at an affordable price.” Vular, the owner of the neighboring Cafe Brioche, says he was inspired to open this restaurant upon noticing the lack of Greek restaurants on California Avenue.

Each of the base choices on the menu — pita, salad, or a rice plate — are offered with either  chicken, beef, lamb or a vegetarian option, and Verde ventured to try all of the meat options.

Chicken Pita $11

Photo by Ella Thomsen

The Chicken Pita dish is served on a blue and white-speckled plate. A blend of roasted beets, sliced oranges, greens and Mizithra cheese lay as a bed for the chicken slices that sit atop it. This was all then wrapped in a large piece of cold pita, and wrapped again in a patterned paper to hold everything together. The portion size is large, making it the perfect amount for a lunch. Overall the Chicken Pita has a tasty blend of ingredients; however, it is lacking the Greek element we had previously expereinced in Greek food.

Beef Salad $13

Photo by Ella Thomsen

On the bottom of a large bowl lay an average-sized serving of salad with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, feta cheese and lemon-oregano vinaigrette drizzled on top, creating a strong Greek taste. Resting atop the salad were three delicately placed beef skewers. The contrasting temperatures of the salad and beef were satisfying, and the dish was the perfect size for a lunch or  afternoon meal.

Lamb Rice Plate $15

Photo by Ella Thomsen

The speckled plate made yet another appearance for the Lamb Rice Plate. The lamb was garnished with a dollop of tzatziki sauce, which had become warm over time. After a few bites, a layer of pita bread was revealed hidden underneath the lamb. Cut into small triangular pieces, the pita was a pleasant surprise. However, it had become damp by the time we got to it. Neighboring the lamb was a Greek salad, and a large spoonful of delicious calrose rice, sprinkled with chickpeas and orzo pasta. This combination of ingredients created a tasty dish, with strong Greek flavors.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade $3.50

There are two types of Kalí Lemonade: mint cucumber and strawberry basil.Both are Greek and both are made in-house. The strawberry basil lemonade is sweet with a little tang from the lemon, while the basil flavor is subtle. The drink’s pink color can be seen through the plastic ziploc bag that it is served in. Although the bag is aesthetically pleasing, it is not an enviromentally friendly way to serve these drinks.