How do you continue to improve as five star restaurant? One man who manages to do this on a continuing basis is Ara Kalfayan, proprietor of Phoenicia.
For years the restaurant has acquired fame for its authentic Eastern Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine matched with a superb wine cellar which includes vintages from around the world. But especially from Lebanon which has been making wine for over two thousand years.
Some of these Lebanon wines are exclusive at Phoenicia and have a history of their own.
Chateau Kefraya is produced in the Bakaa Valley just 18 miles from Cana where the Bible tells us Jesus turned water into wine.
Chateau Ksara makes French styled blends and the winery dates back to 1857. Chateau Fakra offers red wines from the Kfardebvian Valley north of Berut.
We opened with appetizers that included Hommos; Labm, Lebanese cream cheese served with garlic; Warak Enab, grape leaves stuffed with rice, oil and vegetables, cooked in lemon juice and olive oil, and Tabbouleh, chopped parsley, crushed wheat, tomatoes and onions.
Some hot appetizers we tasted included Kibbeh Makli, beef dumpling stuffed with ground beef; Bourghoul , onions and pine nuts as well as San Bousek, freshly prepared dough with ground beef and pine nuts and Rekakat, a selection of Lebanese cheese baked in a pastry dough.
Our samplers of grill selections included Beef Kafla, ground beef, onions, parsley and spices, grilled on skewers. One of our favorites are the lamb chops marinated with spices. Also chicken breast kabob, perfectly prepared rice and the best french fries we have had in a long time.
This is a restaurant where everything is done well and most professionally. For us our visit on Wednesday evening was once again a most memorable dining experience.
Phoenicia is located at 343 North Central Avenue in Glendale with valet off street parking. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. except on weekends there is live entertainment with a 2 a.m.closing time. For more information or reservations call 818 956-7800.