For those who are totally turkey-, cranberry sauce-, and stuffing‘ed out, meet Adana, a J-Gold recommended spot in an unlikely corner of Glendale. Sarah and I stopped in for lunch a few weeks back and ate our weight in superb Middle Eastern cooking.
Every meal at Adana begins with a basket of pita bread and pita chips. Both are addictive, especially when the hummus hits the table.
Lunch started with a fattoush salad ($9.99), a bed of verdolagas (also known as purslane) adorned with tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, herbs, feta cheese, and pita chips dressed with lemon and oil. Sarah liked this plate o’ greens very much.
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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.
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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Before diving into the best dishes of 2014 for my annual roundup, I have one final restaurant to review: Falafel Arax.
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.
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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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.
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.
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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