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Lebanese Kitchen - best kebabs in a long time

Suvro | Jun 4, 200507:19 PM

Had some of the best kebabs at Lebanese Kitchen last night. It is at the corner of Hill and Washington in Pasadena/Altadena, north of 210. It is a small room with probably no more than 8-10 tables, bare decor. But the food rocks. This is the definition of a hole-in-the-wall good food.

We had three of their dinner combinations - mixed kebab, sheesh kebab, and shawerma - each came with taboule, hommus, pita bread, and pilaf. I had asked for a house salad instead of the pilaf (+$1.50), but they forgot and I was OK with that. Each dish was either $9 or $10. I also had a tonn (sp?) - yogurt drink - it is similar to salt lassi.

The hommus and taboule was perfect with the pita bread to stave our hungry stomachs. I prefer baba ghannouj instead of the taboule, and I have had their baba ghanouj (ordered at work) - it is just as good.

But the standouts were the kebabs. I have looked high and low in this area for decent kebabs - Wahibs, Mandaloun, Raffi, and even the Iranian restaurants near Westwood. Most of them have practically no spicing, and hence just a raw meaty flavor and mouthfeel. Kebabs in India are almost all richly spiced (with there being about 100 different types of kebabs - a lost art now) - so the ones I had were always lacking. The only ones that were reasonably spiced were Sahara and the place on Lake and Del Mar (Middle Eastern Cafe?). So this was a revelation.

Perfectly spiced beef sheesh kebabs, meltingly tender in the mouth. Sprinkled with sliced onion and the red spice (lebneh?). Chicken kebab was also just rightly spiced and not dried out. The lula kebab was a tad less upto the mark in comparison to the other two, but still much much better than at Raffi and Mandaloun.

The shawerma was quite tart with the tahini sauce they served - perhaps it is OK with other mains, but as a single course becomes a bit too much. Nonetheless, it is quite tasty.

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