"Yeah, that eggplant dip thing was so smoky there!"
My brothers words ringing through out my mind endlessly while painstakingly waiting for my stop to finally come. And sooner than later...there I was, and there it was. The rich, jet white, creamy Muttabbal (Babaghanoush) in all its glory. The texture just right...rich and thick--yet light. The flavor...smoky in the subtlest way. Held up its reputation pretty good until I had a forkful of that engaging Muhumarra, a tart dip made with roasted red pepper and pomegranate, rustic chunkyness provided by the crushed walnuts notoriously present in it. The raw hamburger patty-looking, sort of Armenian Tartar Kebbeh Nayyeh was coool, but I like the gamier lamb version in other places instead.
We were told that there was a lot "more to come" but the aforementioned Mezzas have always been my highlight of most Middle Eastern meals. Then Falafel finally made its appearance... flaky? crispy? light? "Excuse me, what's in your Falafel?" It turns out the owner is the only one with the complete recipe, but the waiter spilled a little of the beans--or chickpeas--being the case here..."there is actually some yeast and flour in their, actually healthier." There you go, leavened falafel frybread!? Interesting...
All night, I patiently awaited the mutton. Soujuk (Homemade Armenian Beef Sausage) flambeing at my table eased my lamb angst, basically bombarded with nothing but garlic. I was also quite curious about how geometrically exact they shape the Kebbeh ("spheres of cracked wheat, onion and pine nuts"), they looked exactly like a model sized football. Then it came, just one little chop, too much anticipation I guess: charred edges were good, but a tad too done--dry--for me.
Several savory seconds later, I wondered how exactly they were going to end this P.R feast? I would of been happy with some Baklava. But no, no, no, that was "much to simple", what they were going to bring out was "much better than Baklava". Not just bringing out a dazzling seasonal fruit platter complete with carefully widdled kiwi's and strategically arranged strawberries, but the more elegant cousins of Baklava. The same signature textures (phyllo), flavors (buttery) and aromas (Rose) but taken up a notch with things like Halaweh B' Jheben (a blend of semolina, Lebanese cheese and fresh cream).
304 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203