Vibrant Middle Eastern Cuisine By Way of Bestia - Bavel (Grand Opening) [Thoughts + Pics]


#61

You mean the Italian riff on the Taiwanese beef roll?

No, but I believe the folks at the new Piencone were talking about it.


#62

Trapizzino™ is a chain that specializes in pizza bianca ripiena, fresh focaccia-like pizza split down the middle and filled with whatever, which are sold at Roman pizza a taglio places such as the famous Antico Forno Roscioli. Their main innovations are baking little squares and splitting them in half to make cone-like pockets and offering fillings of classic Roman dishes such as coda alla vaccinara and trippa alla romana.


#63

That’s a good rec for me. We find ourselves at the Toyota Sports Center sometimes (junior hockey). No good eats around there.


#64

Pshaw. Umi by Hamasaku is only 5 minutes from there.


#65

Hi @TheCookie,

Oh, looks like Fishing with Dynamite and MB Post are only 11 minutes away from Toyota Sports Center. :wink:


#66

Please don’t tell me you recommend this place. I had one of my worst meals here.


#67

“partners Jesse Duron, chef Yoya Takahashi and owner Michael Ovitz”. Strange bed fellows. :sweat_smile:

We will check it out. It’s super close.


#68

I’m sure it’s superior to bad bar food at the Toyota Sports Center. We want a nice meal, not a 5-star tasting. OP’s rec fits the bill. What are your dining recs within a 5 minute drive?


#69

You now have Mendocino Farms in El Segundo.

And if you get lucky, you might be able to score some biryani from Zam Zam Market.


#70

I knew you could do it. Thanks.

Okay back to Bavel. We’re going this week and I promise to report promptly @Chowseeker1999.


#71

I had a decent time. If memory serves, I avoided the traditional nigiri/sashimi there. Had the potato salad, the shishito peppers, some bento box, and a crazy roll my nephew wanted. Serviceable.


#72

Hi @TheCookie,

Nice! Hope you have a great time, looking forward to your report. :slight_smile:


#73

Had to join in on all the fun! Everything we ordered has been covered already - the duck nduja hummus, the octopus, the okra, the crack…erm, I mean chicken, and the rose clove donuts.

The hummus was delightful, and I agree with everybody who has mentioned that the pitas are awesome. We found ours to be the perfect texture and moistness. The great thing was that they retained most of that texture even as they cooled down (we took a while to finish the hummus).

The chicken is just ridiculous - many other chefs could take lessons on how to prep chicken from Chef Ori (yes, it’s dark meat, so it’s already got a “leg” up, but still). The meat was tender, and flavorful, and the skin was seared just enough to be perfectly delicate and crispy, like paper. All the turmeric and spices just give you a nice kick in the butt as you’re eating it, and the acidity from the greens provides a nice contrast and palate cleanser.

We personally though the okra was good, but not memorable - looking forward to trying other veggie dishes. As for the octopus, we really enjoyed it. Yes, you can get this dish everywhere, but the execution was spot-on, including the gooey-ness of the thicker part of that leg.

For dessert, we had the rose clove chocolate donuts, and they reminded me of the coffee & donuts at Bestia. However, the clove spices made the dish much more bold, and the donuts were really dense and oozed with chocolate.

Had a glass of the Cornas from the wine menu, which matched really well with the cuisine.

I have to agree with some of you - I like this more than Bestia.



#74

Il Romanista is a 2 minute drive.

Not open late but if you are around when it’s open it’s pretty good.


#75

Agree about the octopus, but those mushrooms are our favorite thing on the menu. Try again. There is a distinctive smokiness to them from the cherry and oak.


#76

Not sure when you went to Bavel, but something to note about the okra. Ori has changed the temperature at which the okra is being confited. It has drastically improved the texture of the okra.

He’s tweaking alot, so one thing you may not have cared for that much might be much improved next time.

Have to agree with all of the comments about the octopus. It is a very small portion compared to some of the other dishes.


#77

Hi @NYCtoLA,

Nice report and pics! Thanks for your thoughts. :slight_smile:

Isn’t their Turmeric Chicken Confit just awesome?! :blush:

Thanks for the thoughts on the Rose Clove Chocolate Donuts, I haven’t tried that yet, but it sounds enticing, now that you mention it oozes Chocolate. :grin:


#78

PSA: Chef Ori said that the (phenomenal) Aged Duck (3 Ways) is not going to be on the menu this weekend. Boo! :cry: It’s going to be more of a special appearance every so often (I’m guessing they only have so much space to age their Ducks before it sells out).

On the bright side, they have a new Goat Tagine this evening. :slight_smile:


#79

BAVEL - Pics, Thoughts and Cute Encounters.

The vibe at Bavel is airy, spacious and more laid-back than Bestia. The staff call the two restaurants Beauty and the Beast.

By summer you should be able to sit on their new patio and gaze upon the downtown landscape of our City of Angels…


The Arioch - A Manhattan w/Japanese Whiskey, Amaro, Sherry and a Sweet Pickled Black Walnut. The Zivah - Sour Up (?) Vodka, Aquavit, Celery, Bergamot, Lime, Egg White, Dried Marigold Garnish.

Duck 'Nduja Hummus - Simple Creamy Hummus, Ground Duck Meat, Jerusalem Spice Mix, Herbs, Pita


The server wasn’t sure what was in the Jerusalem Mix. I thought curry too @Chowseeker1999, but she didn’t think so - I detected a lot of cumin (my favorite spice). We loved this dish and that soft, hot Pita! :blush:

Roasted Cauliflower - Hawaij Chile Sauce, Crème Fraiche Serrano Dip, Pistachios, Dried Flowers


Photos do not do justice to the vibrant color of the Hawaij Chile Sauce on the cauliflower. The dish is super spicy (hence the cooling crème fraiche dip), fragrant and so pretty. I have not been a fan of the cauliflower renaissance (so to speak), but thanks @PorkyBelly. This was our favorite dish! :kissing_closed_eyes:

(not pictured) Malawach - Ancient Grain Crispy Layered Bread, Sauce w/Grated Tomato, Dill Crème Fraiche, Soft Boiled Egg, Strawberry Zhoug
The Malawach was very good, a tad too oily. We took some home, fired it up on a dry cast iron, the excess oil did the work and it was perfecto. Can’t say much about the sauce, we only ordered it to get at that Malawach. As previously mentioned, the egg was superfluous.

Wagyu Beef Cheek Tagine - Braised Cheeks, Chiles, Preserved Lemon, Turnips, Green Garbanzo, Couscous


Hubby wanted his beef, I wanted that couscous with some sauce from the beef. The rind from the preserved lemon was a nice perk, but the flavors overall were a little muted. Everything was perfectly cooked.

Confit Tumeric Chicken Leg - Yemenite Pancake, Fennel Salad, Black Sesame, Orange Blossom Toum


The leg was so perfectly cooked. Perhaps I’m used to the gaminess of duck confit, but this didn’t taste as bold as expected. The Yemenite pancake was as described - like a spongy, airier, less sour Ethiopian injera.

Frozen Medley - Frozen Yogurt, Strawberry & Bitter Orange Blossom Sorbet, Meyer Lemon Saffron Sherbet w/Saffron Pirouettes


The Bon Bons would have been a waste in our full bellies. We went for a nice palate cleanser. The frozen yogurt was the best of the four - creamy, slightly savory with cocunut or possibly vanilla.


Thoughts on food: Was any dish first bite of Animal’s Pork Belly Sandwich good? No. If we lived close would we become regulars? Absolutely. But here’s how I’d do it - All Meze, No entree - Duck ‘Nduja, Baba Ghanoush, Farm Cheese, Grilled Prawns! Roasted Cauliflower and the wonderful Breads. I’d just dip and wrap away! :blush:


Side bar, if I may… a surprising thing happened. A waitress from Bestia, Meghan - now a manager at Bavel - recognized us and came over to say hi. We are not Bestia regulars but she remembered us and even recalled details of our chat. We wanted to give her a shout out. I’m not surprised she moved up quickly. Really sharp young lady.

Anyhoo… We were discussing odes recently on another thread. I would definitely call Bavel a righteous ode to Middle Eastern cuisine.


#80

Great report, glad you liked the cauliflower. Did you try the prawns?