SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Call your amigos ASAP! El Halal Amigos serves up sizzling Halal-Mexican cuisine within a neighborhood party setting.
"Whether it's a Monday or a Sunday, we're throwing a party, and everyone is invited," said El Halal Amigos founder and chef Hisham Abdelfattah.
Upon entering the San Jose-based spot, guests are greeted with lively music, vibrantly painted walls, and the savory smells of authentic Mexican flavors that all can enjoy.
"When I dove into my religion strongly, which is Islam, we're only allowed to eat Halal meats," described Abdelfattah. "My favorite food as a Palestinian-Filipino is Mexican food. I had this idea, let's make really good Halal-Mexican food, and let's make a place and environment for everyone."
Halal means "permissible" in Arabic and refers to the dietary law of Islam, which practicing Muslims follow. Halal cuisine avoids pork, bacon, lard, and gelatin, as well as alcoholic beverages.
Through the restaurant's offerings, chef Abdelfattah aims to prioritize faith-based community members who only eat Halal, but still want to enjoy the authentic flavors and high-quality ingredients found in Mexican cuisine along with Arabic influence.
Abdelfattah is committed to keeping El Halal Amigos as authentic as possible by securing flavors all the way from the farmlands of Zitacuaro Michoacan and utilizing the street-style cooking techniques of Mexico City.
All menu options are made from scratch with love and respect as the main ingredients.
"There's a lot of people that really go out of their way to get Halal because of all the health behind it and the respect behind the animal," explained Abdelfattah. "That is so important to me as a chef and a cook that I'm putting respect in every aspect of what I do."
The restaurant also makes it a priority to give back by working with Islamic Relief USA and donating a portion of proceeds to charity each month.
"We wanted to make a restaurant where there's something for everyone," said Abdelfattah. "Everything we do, we put so much love behind it, and we make it like how we would if we were serving anyone in our family."