The Short Course:
Kid-friendly: Mostly, as long as your kiddos can keep an open mind.
To avoid wait: Avoid Community High lunch hour (11:15am-noon) during the school year.
Noise level: Medium.
Bathroom amenities: Second level Kerrytown Shops bathrooms offer multiple stalls and changing tables. Lower level has a single,
High chairs? No.
Kids’ menu? Yes.
Anything healthy for kids? Yes.
Food allergy concerns? Many items are naturally gluten free. Discuss other allergy concerns with counter staff.
Kerrytown is one of our favorite local places, with fun stores to visit and lots of space for wandering. When Kosmo closed its Kerrytown lunch counter to focus on its newer Ashley Street Bop Shop, we were disappointed to lose one of our go-to weekend lunch spots. However, we have eagerly anticipated Kosmo’s replacement, Loomi Café, to try the latest addition to this Ann Arbor landmark.
Loomi Café opened in April with a lunch counter and more tables than Kosmos. Originating as a food cart in 2018, Loomi has made a seamless transition to a brick and mortar restaurant serving “New American Ethnic Cuisine” described as a mix of Middle Eastern, South American, Turkish and Indian food.
Navigate a world of flavors
A set of hanging blackboards displays the daily menu which Loomi develops based on available ingredients. The ordering process was not entirely intuitive and, after a minute or two of confused staring, our 6-year-old declared that we would need some help. The friendly staff seemed prepared for this and walked us through our options.
A grid system divides the menu into protein categories, such as beef, chicken, veggie, seafood, pork or game/farm. The number of options available in each category varies depending on the day. Each selection can be served on a base of bread (also with rotating options), rice, or potatoes. Loomi offers a kids’ menu, with some selections that are essentially a la carte versions of the larger entrees (e.g. “Meat $5”, “Starch $1.50”). Our server encouraged us to just let the kids share from our plates.
The kids’ menu also offers a cheesy pocket ($2), fruit plate ($2) and a veggie plate ($2). The cheesy pocket was essentially a grilled cheese sandwich, with mild cheese on fresh grilled bread. The fruit that day was fresh orange slices which delighted all three of our kids. The veggie plate included cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices lightly drizzled with olive oil.
We ordered three different entrée plates, to share family-style, each with a different grain or starch. The kafta kabob, with a Lebanese garlic sauce, on white rice ($11) was a standout. We loved the garlic sauce that accompanied the kabob, which was served hot, lightly seasoned and tender on top of slices of red onion and crunchy cucumber spears. We also loved that we could share some plain rice with the whole family, which helped to balance some of the unique flavors.
We also ordered the charred eggplant with tahini ($11), served over roasted potatoes. This dish offered a bit too much char for our kids, although the adults liked the balance of the crispy, blackened eggplant skin with the rich, tender vegetable. Finally, we tasted the lamb sausage with tomato ($12) served over pita bread. The grilled lamb sausage was savory and filled with delicious herbs and spices and served with stewed tomatoes, shaved carrots and tons of fresh cilantro. Our 6-year-old loved the homemade pita that wrapped the sausage, as it soaked up the juices.
The day we visited, Loomi was offering two dessert options (also rotating): extra virgin olive oil lemon cake and flan ($4 each). We chose the lemon cake and it was fantastic, dense with a fresh lemon flavor and a savory richness from the olive oil. Our one and 6-year-olds gobbled it up in a hurry.
Fill up on familiarity and fun
While we always like to encourage the kids to try new foods and flavors, we love the fact that we know at Loomi, worst case, they’ll fill up on white rice and orange slices! For other families visiting Loomi, ask the staff for a menu tutorial immediately upon arrival. Bonus tip: If you visit on a weekend day, place your order and then head outside to wander through the Saturday Farmers or Sunday Artisan Markets while you wait for you food!
407 N 5th Ave | Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Saturday, Sunday 11am-6pm