Nationally recognized

Haroon Hamid, owner and chef of Mazaa Kabob House, displays his award from Yelp, which ranked his Tracy restaurant No. 41 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States for 2017.

Haroon Hamid opened the doors to his Tracy restaurant, Mazaa Kabob House, in 2015, and less than two years later, it is one of the top 50 restaurants in the nation, according to Yelp.

Yelp is a San Francisco-based company that collects customer reviews of local businesses that that include restaurants, dentists and hair salons.

Mazaa Kabob House, which specializes in Afghan and Mediterranean cuisine, was ranked No. 41 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States for 2017.

“I was very, very excited,” Hamid said about winning a place among the best-rated restaurants in the country. “We work so hard here, day and night. I’m here seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day. Hard work pays off.

“It’s my dream. I always wanted to have a restaurant,” he added. “Not just getting my dream, … to go to that extent and get top 100 in the United States, that was the best thing that could happen.”

According to the Yelp page for the Tracy restaurant, as of Wednesday, customers have written 398 reviews since the restaurant opened at 2745 Naglee Road on March 31, 2015. Out of those reviews, 341 gave Mazaa the highest rating, five stars.

“If you read our reviews, we have been getting five-star (ratings) all the way, because of the consistency of our food and service,” he said. “We are the only restaurant in Tracy with five stars. We have nothing but high-quality food and excellent service, and the good thing about us is that it’s always consistent. Consistency is No. 1 with customer service.”

Hamid, who is also the chef, said he prepares the meals and then personally goes to each table to make sure his customers are satisfied with their dishes. Another reason reviewers like the restaurant is its cleanliness and atmosphere, he said.

Hamid moved to Mountain House’s Questa Village in November 2011. He said that before winning a spot in Yelp’s top 100 this year, Mazaa was considered a top-rated restaurant in 2016 based on a 4½-star Yelp rating.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for the restaurant,” he said.

As news spread about the award, he said business pretty much doubled.

A couple of days ago, Hamid received a bright red plaque from Yelp to commemorate his new ranking as a top-100 place to eat in 2017. It will hang near the restaurant entrance.

Mazaa Kabob House is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner in the Tracy Pavilion shopping center near Home Depot.

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at or 830-4225. 

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