Friday, April 17, 2015

Fast Casual Lebanese at Urban Garden (Los Angeles, CA)

George Abou-Daoud may be famous for his previous enterprises along the lines of gastropub The Bowery or Delancey, but he's started to bring his Middle Eastern heritage into the LA dining scene.

His latest venture is Urban Garden, a fast casual Lebanese spot in Mid-city that boasts free range chicken shawarma, organic chickpeas in the falafel, and more.

As you'd expect from a Lebanse spot, they have hummus, falafel, shawarma, etc.
They have three types of hummus: Traditional hummus, spicy hummus (with spicy pickled peppers), garlic hummus (with thyme roasted garlic). On top of that you can also get a lebneh made with Mediterranean yogurt, topped with French feta cheease and za'atar. There's also babaganoush with sumac.

Urban Garden
Pictured on the wall is Abou-Daoud's mother, who inspired most of the recipes (the baklava with rosewater syrup served here is his mother's recipe). These are the food that Abou-Daoud grew up with, but he's added his own touches.
Urban Garden
The side dish that's not to be missed is the Spicy potato and cauliflower with lemon, garlic, sweet and spicy peppers, cilantro (shown here on half the plate, I was tasting the almonds on the other half)
Urban Garden
The cauliflower dish is pretty spicy, but quite addictive.

Because many LA people eat salad for lunch, you can find a variety of salads here.
I tried the Fatoush salad with cucumber, onion, tomato, romaine, radish, bell peppers, mint, baby celery, sumac, pita chips with lemon oregano dressing ($9.95).
You can add meat or veggie to any salad. This one has the chicken shawarma with turmeric and spices ($5 extra). The chicken shawarma was definitely worth a try, it's very tender and has some nice (but not overwhelming) spices.
Urban Garden

Holy Grail Kale salad with baby kale, roasted beets, quinoa, goat cheese (from Soledad Farms) with citrus vinaigrette ($11.95) and we added the Falafel ($4). The falafels are made fresh every day and they had a great texture. Hot and crispy on the outside, moist and chunky inside. They have added red quinoa to the falafel to make the texture crispier!
Urban Garden

They plan to expand Urban Garden throughout the city. I think fresh Mediterranean food is always a great option for lunch, it'd be great to have one near offices!
Urban Garden

Urban Garden
7563 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 951-0990
Urban Garden on Urbanspoon


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