Photo by David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Medina Mediterranean Grill

What will the restaurant of the future look like? I don’t mean the science-fiction future of lab-grown meat and soylent green, but the near future of the country’s increasingly diverse population. Ibrahim Ead’s fast-casual Medina Mediterranean Grill provides one possible direction. Ead spent most of his childhood in St. Louis but also lived for a time in the West Bank, and his menu mashes up Palestinian cuisine with the global influences he experienced growing up in the United States. So the Summer in Dubai sandwich accents chicken shawarma with pepper jack cheese and a chipotle sauce. Traditional dishes — beef shawarma, especially — hold their own against the area’s best Middle Eastern restaurants. If this is the future, it’s a delicious, exciting one.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2015

Must order: Original Palestine beef shawarma sandwich ($6.50)