Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting Lebanese Food in West Hollywood at Open Sesame

Open Sesame is a popular Lebanese restaurant in Long Beach and they have now opened their LA location on Beverly Blvd, in the former Eva space. They've revamped the small space quite nicely to fit the theme.
Addictive, pungent garlic dip is served right off the bat. It's also great with the appetizer of fried potatoes, sauteed with cilantro, garlic, roasted chili and lemon juice. That dip is great with anything, really.
The cocktails here are worth a look, some of them utilizing middle eastern components like rose water and tamarind. I tried the Tamarind cocktail with tequila, tamarind syrup, agave, grapefruit liqueur, rose water, lime.
For those not drinking alcohol, you'd have unusually plenty of choices of interesting drinks here, like Jalab (Rose water and grape syrup infused with incense, topped with pine nuts.)
It's aromatic but don't worry, it's not so overwhelming. It's great nonalcoholic alternative!

I was excited to see grilled halloumi cheese with watermelon ($7) as an appetizer. I haven't seen it much at restaurants since Bar and Kitchen, where I fell in love with the cheese.
I've never had it with watermelon before and it worked quite well, although the halloumi itself is a little drier than others. It was still good and I'd be glad to have it anytime.

For the entree, of course we had to try the Beef Shawarma, served with hummus, tahini sauce, rice, tomato, and salad.
The manager wanted to make sure we eat this properly so he helped cut our meat and tomato. He put the tomato on the meat and poured the tahini sauce on top (making sure to tell us that we can always pour more!).
It's imperative to get the rice and meat and tomatoes with the sauce all in one bite! The steak is properly cooked on a spit, of course. They've installed two spits in the kitchen, one for the beef and the other for chicken shawarma.

Take a quick glance at the beer menu - they have a Lebanese beer called Almaza!

Naturally, they have baklava for dessert, but we opted to try something we haven't had before. The K'naafeh is semolina wheat pastry assembled with sweet cheese or ashta, topped with orange blossom syrup
It's pretty rich and decadent, so you might as well get some nice strong Turkish coffee to go with that. Turkish coffee is infused with cardamom and since it's quite strong, it's served in this little cup.
Turkish Coffee
I can see why Open Sesame has been popular down in Long Beach, and I'm glad they've brought it up to Los Angeles. Especially for the West Hollywood area, the place brings diversity and solid Mediterranean food to the neighborhood.

IMG_3726Open Sesame
7458 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 525-1698
Open Sesame on Urbanspoon


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