Monday, January 12, 2015

If you want to continue your exploration of the Mediterranean diet may we suggest you start with the 5000 year old cuisine of Lebanon.
A great place to start is the Open Sesame Restaurant located on the west side in Los Angeles.  Proprietor-chef Ali Kobeissi introduced his authentic Lebanese cuisine to this location one year ago to immediate success.  We were there with a group last evening and most impressed with both the variety and quality of the many appetizers and entrees we tasted.
Open Sesame shows a very large menu with a long list of Mezza/appetizers and here is where we started with fried potatoes, Hummus, Kibbi, fried cauliflower and the Lebanese salad Fattoush.
Then came our mini sized entrees, to taste and enjoy as many as possible.  First a charbroiled lamb chop, then grilled tiger shrimp layered on an exciting red sauce.  Then Ali's Favorite, sliced top sirloin steak on a layer of spicy roasted tomatoes and onions.
Followed by, what proved a favorite for some of us, Chicken Tawook, skewered cubes of marinated,char broiled chicken breast served with garlic sauce and wild cucumber pickles.
The service was excellent and, if you are a beginner with Lebanese food, the wait staff is knowledgeable and
and eager to help.  Our dessert was Baklawa, a flaky phyllo pastry filled with pistachios.
 Our host, Ali Kobeissi is a veteran restaurateur with two other restaurants located in Long Beach.
Open Sesame is located at 7458 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.  Open Sunday thru Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.--on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Telephone 323 525-1698.
With this feast we were served a remarkable group of wines from Lebanon.  Tomorrow in this space we will tell about the 5000 year history of wines from the region and those we tasted.

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