Archive for the 'Middle Eastern' Category

Dune – Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

Dune - Atwater Village - Los Angeles

The Astronomer, June, and I made our way to Dune for lunch last Sunday. I’d been meaning to check out this highly touted Atwater Village falafelria since it was opened earlier this year by the folks who run Elf Cafe.


June really liked Dune’s outdoor seating and fast-casual service, while The Astronomer and I appreciated that our spread arrived quickly. Efficient service is one of the perks of waiting a solid six months before trying a “hot” spot.    

Dune - Atwater Village - Los Angeles

The menu here is awesomely simple, offering just a trio of sandwiches, a few composed plates, and a smattering of salads and snacks. The Astronomer and I ordered a little bit of everything and enjoyed leftovers the following day.

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Falafel Arax – Los Angeles (East Hollywood)

Falafel Arax

Before diving into the best dishes of 2014 for my annual roundup, I have one final restaurant to review: Falafel Arax.

Falafel-Arax - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

The Astronomer, my mom, and I made our way here for dinner while Baby Girl was still stuck in the hospital. While we would’ve preferred to bring our sweetie home straightaway, we couldn’t have asked for better dining options around the hospital. We’re all about the silver lining around here.

Falafel-Arax - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

For well over 25 years, Falafel Arax has been dishing up Armenian delights in the heart of East Hollywood’s Little Armenia. Our dinner began with a requisite helping of beet-stained pickled turnips and potent pepperoncinis.

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Raffi’s Place – Los Angeles (Glendale)

Raffis Place - Glendale

Every meal at Raffi’s Place begins with sabzi, or “something green”—sprigs of basil, chopped parsley and white onions, and whole radishes served on a plate, along with pats of butter and a basket of unleavened lavash. When pulled together, these aromatics and herbs make for a uniquely Persian appetizer.

Raffis Place - Glendale

The sabzi to start, as well as the bougainvillea-shaded dining room, have been a part of the Raffi’s experience since 1993, when Rafik Bakijan and his wife, Gohar, opened the restaurant to share treasured family recipes with Los Angeles’ burgeoning Middle Eastern community.

Raffis Place - Glendale

For an appetizer, The Astronomer and I shared an order of tadig, a prized crispy rice crust, served with ghormesabzi (stewed greens with beef, kidney beans, and dehydrated limes) and gheimeh bademjan (stewed split peas and eggplant). The rice was a textural powerhouse, while the duo of stews were soulful and hearty.

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{swoon} Persian Ice Cream at Saffron & Rose

Saffron & Rose Ice Cream - Westwood

While there are many vibrant Persian establishments in Tehrangeles, none are quite as sweet as Saffron & Rose Ice Cream. The shop is named after its signature flavor, a creamy and floral mash up scented with saffron and dotted with pistachios. There’s a nut-less version available as well, but the man scooping behind the counter always insists on the one with the bright green pistachios.

In addition to its namesake flavor, the shop churns out over a dozen different varieties ranging from fascinating (orange blossom, white rose, dates) to familiar (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla). Since the taste of rosewater makes me feel like I’m chugging down a bottle of Kiehl’s toner, I selected a scoop of ginger, sandwich between two thin crispy wafers.

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