Bavel - Arts District


Am I making a mistake with the first visit being 11 pm on Saturday when kitchen is exhausted and down to last crumbs?


I think going that close to closing at any restaurant might introduce some limitations.
If you’re super flexible with regard to the menu, do it.
But I would be sad if I couldn’t get the foie gras halva or the hummus. Perhaps you can call and reserve certain dishes you are 100% going to order.


IMO yes, they start running out of their more popular items after 8:30.


You cannot, sadly. I called and asked to prepay for a lamb shawarma and they said they don’t allow it. :frowning:


Lol this is a massive subtweet to the entire board. Sensational!


Don’t get me wrong – I still want to try the duck hummus and the malawach and the lamb schwarma, but just not enough that I am willing to eat at 5:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. or to keep obsessively checking Open Table to see if I can get a reservation at a normal time. And I loved the music!


Kk that’s fair, honestly I’m not racing back either. I also didn’t try the shawarma :frowning:


Yeah that’s how I feel about Bavel too would much rather go to bestia



duck 'nduja hummus - creamy garbanzo beans, jerusalem mix spice, herbs, pita

steaming hot pita
I pita the fool who doesn’t order this.

(new) potato & yogurt manti - beef ragu, ginger, serrano chile, tomato, garam masala, soft herbs
delicious, perfectly cooked dumplings with essentially a very good bolognese sauce. pro tip: save some pita to sop up the spicy beef ragu.

roasted cauliflower - green hawaij chile sauce, creme fraiche serrano dip & dried flowers
Good, I enjoyed the spicier version I got before a little better.

grilled prawns - harissa marinade, cured zucchini tzatziki, fresh herbs, lime
Awesome as always, still my favorite dish on the menu. #foodprawn

slow roasted lamb neck shawarma - tahini, fermented cabbage, pickled turnips, laffa
Good, but I prefer all the apps and starters. Fermented cabbage was not good.

vanilla date creme brulee - soft candied orange peel shortbread


Has anyone been recently and tried the bar area? How is it trying to get a seat? Thinking about trying to go tomorrow


We’ve got a reservation for tomorrow, and it looks like there are more available, if you’re interested.


Bar was very easy at 9 on a Tuesday


Went with friends a couple of nights ago. My main problem with Bavel is the noise level–it gets obnoxiously loud, and is probably the only reason I won’t return often. which leads to the second problem: We eat waaaay too much there. If we were frequent habitués, we’d learn some restraint. But as it is now, we want to try everything on the menu, and it’s so good we eat it all. And suffer later.

The four of us started with the roasted olives, duck n’duja hummus, baba ganoush, and a simple lettuce salad (boring, but one friend doesn’t eat carbs, so needed a filler; the server brought out for him a bowl of lovely radishes, chilled and drizzled with olive oil, for dipping). The shrimp, octopus, two orders of lamb tartar, and malawach followed. Finally the wagyu beef cheek tagine (and we couldn’t remember if we’d ordered the duck, and prayed we hadn’t, we were so full).

Everything was great. One of the best parts of the meal was when our carb-free friend, who is Israeli and grew up eating malawach, tasted Bavel’s version. It was a Proustian experience. His eyes rolled back in his head and the most beautiful smile spread across his face–he said it was perfect, and transported him back to childhood. He then broke his carb-free rule and finished the plate.

Even though we were full by the time we got the tagine, I found it to be one of my favorite dishes. Falling-apart tender but with a deep funk and winey richness of flavor, wonderful with the buttered couscous, which was the smallest-grained and most ethereally light couscous I’ve ever had. Our waiter told us he’d often come into work to see Chef Menache standing behind the counter, hand-rolling couscous while he talked with people; apparently it’s then put through a sieve to achieve the very fine grain.

If you can handle the noise level, I highly recommend Bavel.


If you can stand eating early it’s a nicer experience


guys… can you make it easy for me please… finally going this weekend.
just order 2 apps, 2 entrees for me so i dont have to read this book (work week is bad). No allergies or preferences.


Personally I think you just need 1 entree for something like.

Duck 'Nduja Hummus
Farm Cheese

Grilled Prawn

Lamb neck shwarma

Save room for dessert


I would do:

Duck 'Nduja Hummus
Grilled Prawn or Lamb Tartar (don’t get the lamb tartar if you’re getting the shawarma below)
Grilled Dorade
Aged Half-Duck (if they have it) or Lamb Neck Shawarma

I’d love for you to get some other items, but those items above plus desserts is probably just fine.

Other items to consider:
Pork Tagine since they are the only place I know of in LA to be hand-rolling their own couscous. Not steaming and fluffing by hand . . . ROLLING dough by hand to make the small semolina dough pearls. If you’re down with the subtlety of good couscous then that would be a must order.

Foie gras halva is also amazing, but with the hummus (bread), maybe shawarma (bread) you don’t want to overdo it.


I agree with these recs.

I assume it’s no longer on the menu since summer is over, but if the tomato and plum salad is still available be sure to order it as well.


i would only do one entree and double or triple up on the apps:

  • duck 'nduja hummus
  • foie gras halva
  • grilled prawns x2
  • cauliflower
  • fried qual
  • lamb neck shawarma
  • bon bon
  • sweet cheese pastry


I think this restaurant is much better than Bestia. In three meals, I’ve eaten a single dish here that wasn’t very good. The breads and spreads are phenomenal.