2007_05_FoodLaziza.jpgAn adventurous appetite for ethnically authentic and delicious victuals in our fair city's outer boroughs often yields both delights and disasters. This is a tale of a delight, three to be precise.

Gothamist found the sugary jewels you see before you at Laziza, an oasis of a Middle Eastern bakery set amidst the myriad hookah lounges that line Steinway Street in Astoria. Like many an old-school pastry shop, the display case runs the length of the store, allowing scant room for tables. It contains much more than mere baklava. Dozens of treats, many in shocking day-glo colors, are arrayed inside.

We wound up at Laziza after a a 30-minute stroll that followed a pork-laden lunch the other day. That's a good thing, Eating dessert immediately after a lunch of suckling pig would have been a disaster. Gothamist opted for something that is humbly called mixed nuts and two pieces of brightly colored knafeh. Mixed nuts might just be the undertstatement of the year. Sugar slicked cashews, almonds and pistachio sit atop a base of sweetened grain rendering the whole thing a rather caloric affair. The piece of knafeh on the left consisted of a layer of fuschia-colored filaments of pastry topping sugary semolina on a thin base of white cheese. The other was much the same, save for the fact that the semolina was finer. You'll forgive us if we're drooling on the keyboard at the prospect of sampling some of Laziza's other pastries.

Laziza Sweets, 25-78 Sterinway Street, Astoria, 718-777-7676.