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HOUSTON, TEXAS: Hamsa, a modern Israeli restaurant, is now open in Houston’s Rice Village.

The name Hamsa comes from the Hamsa Hand, a Middle Eastern symbol. It was used to ward off malevolent influences. Also, “hamesh” is the Hebrew word for the number “five.”

“Houston Chronicle” reports that owners wanted to create a restaurant that represented the style of dining they enjoy. Small plates and larger entrees are enjoyed family style and focus on an elevated presentation of Middle Eastern cuisine. Expect vegetable dishes, mounds of hummus and charcoal-grilled skewers of beef, lamb, chicken and shrimp.

We’re there.

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