Ishtar Market and Restaurant is almost imperceptible from the hustle of the traffic on Overland Road. Unless you're on the hunt for a Middle Eastern market offering homemade baklava and bread next to cans of hummus and crushed eggplant, you may not even notice the restaurant. True enough, in the conjoined market and restaurant spaces in an aging Overland Road strip mall, the market comes before the restaurant both in terms of space and importance. For now.
What the menu lacks in length—the handful of choices include falafel, schwarma and kabobs—it makes up for in execution. Plates of each come with fluffy piles of goldenrod rice, fresh lettuce, grilled tomatoes and a selection of starters containing a dab of cucumber salad, a smear of hummus and a taste of crushed eggplant. The simplicity of the menu is mirrored by the decor, but the approach results in consistently good meals. One offering, however, has bolstered Ishtar's reputation as both a market and a restaurant: its bread. Large loaves of flatbread baked in-house and sprinkled sparsely with sesame seeds have been a hit not only as a vehicle for mopping up starter dishes, but also as a daily take-out on the market side.