Jay Leno still fond of the old Middle East

Jay Leno with Tom Mazza (in yellow) and other audience members at "The Tonight Show"

Jay Leno still has a soft spot for the old Middle East, which used to be at 123 Chestnut St.

Local limousine-industry consultant Tom Mazza recently met Leno after a taping of the "Tonight Show" in Los Angeles, and after Mazza mentioned he was from Philadelphia, Leno asked about the Tayoun family and the Middle East restaurant. In the '80's Leno used to perform at the Comedy Works, which Steve Young and Joy and Jimmy Little ran atop the Middle East, owned by former councilman-turned-Public Record publisher Jimmy Tayoun.

Yesterday, Tayoun told us Leno loved the shish kebab, which he would eat between shows. Tayoun was glad that Leno never forgot about the joint.

Read more from my column in Thursday's Daily News.