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


Definitely good to know. Suppose I must return to conduct more research :stuck_out_tongue:


I hope your quest will take you to Tel Aviv for the ultimate hummus.


Update 3:

Scallop Crudo (Pomegranate Molasses, Citrus, Burnt Serrano Chile Oil, Charred Cucumber, Mint, Black Sesame):

Refreshing, bright, very fresh Scallops. On paper it sounded like there might be too many ingredients going on, but it worked: Some sunny citrus-y notes, a bit of heat from the Burnt Serrano Chile Oil, a faint backnote of sweetness from the Pomegranate Molasses that thankfully didn’t overpower the dish.

Baba Ghanoush (Smoked Eggplant, Burnt Bell Pepper, Red Walnuts, Lemon Chili Salt, Fried Pita):

As fantastic as before. Smoky, creamy (but in a pleasing rustic puree, not overly smooth), nutty, and that fresh, Handmade Fried Pita with Turmeric Lime Salt arriving piping hot is still a perfect match for the Baba Ghanoush. So good! :heart:

Foie Gras Halva (Creamy Paté, Date Paste, Black Sesame, Buckwheat Loaf):

Luscious, lightly sweet but savory and that Handmade Buckwheat Loaf (also arriving piping hot and toasted) being crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside is still one of the best Breads in the city and the perfect match for the Foie Gras Halva. :blush:

Duck 'Nduja Hummus (Creamy Garbanzo Beans, Jerusalem Mix Spice, Herbs, Pita):

And then we have Chef Ori Menashe’s standout Duck 'Nduja Hummus, which is still meaty, aromatic, sparkling in its Jerusalem Mix Spice seasoning with jabs of heat and spice and multiple layers of flavor (along with the creamy Hummus itself), all on top of the excellent Handmade Pitas that are still pillowy, airy, and piping hot, made to order! :heart:

Cucumber & Artichoke (Orange Blossom, Pickled Rose Onion, Margold, Green Garlic & Pistachio Dukkah):

Still as bright and vibrant as before. The Cucumbers still had that snap and crispness, some creaminess and floral undertones. :slight_smile:

Roasted Cauliflower (Hawaij Chile Sauce, Creme Fraiche Serrano Dip, Pistachios, Dried Flowers):

Big thanks to @PorkyBelly for this recommendation. This is indeed a beautifully spicy dish, with a noticeable heat level, but nothing too potent (not like Howlin’ Ray’s Level 4 (Hot) or higher, or Jitlada insanity). It was this enticing heat and zestiness and it made it one of the more memorable Cauliflower dishes we’ve had recently. :blush:

Slow Roasted Lamb Neck Shawarma (Crème Fraiche Tahini, Fermented Cabbage, Pickled Turnips, Laffa):

The Slow Roasted Lamb Neck Shawarma was still as tender and succulent as before, but perhaps a touch saltier than the earlier days (but still quite tasty). :slight_smile:

The Habanero Pickled Mango Sauce was still excellent with the Lamb and some of the Housemade Laffa Bread torn off.

Cardamom Apple Prune Cake (Date Toffee Sauce, Cream):

An excellent new Dessert from Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis. It’s decadent without feeling too heavy or too sweet, moist, and balanced.

Another Visit:

We had some friends stopping by, wanting to try something new, so we took them to Bavel. :slight_smile:

The dining room is still as inviting and cheery as usual.

Duck 'Nduja Hummus (Creamy Garbanzo Beans, Jerusalem Mix Spice, Herbs, Pita):

We had just tried out a new Mediterranean spot for lunch the previous week, and the Pita they provided was the ubiquitous, mass-manufactured, dried-out, cardboard-like hockey puck that most people think of when they hear “Pita.”

Having Chef Ori Menashe’s Handmade, Made-To-Order Pita, piping hot and so pillowy is still something I marvel at and don’t take for granted. It is fantastic! :heart:

Baba Ghanoush (Smoked Eggplant, Burnt Bell Pepper, Red Walnuts, Lemon Chili Salt, Fried Pita):

Our friends loved both of the starters (Duck Hummus and this Baba Ghanoush). And they were stunned by the Handmade Pita and this Fried Pita with Turmeric Salt. My friend doesn’t eat that many carbs and devoured her portion of this Pita, so we ordered another one on the side. :smile:

Fried Quail (Cardamom Date Sauce, Pickled Celery, Smoked Yogurt, Herbs):

This was delicious: Perfectly fried Quail, crunchy batter, moist, juicy meat on the inside. :blush:

Half Duck (Whole Aged Duck, Breast Kebab, Confit Leg, Green Amba, Bone Broth, Chicory Salad):

It was really nice to see Chef Menashe bring back the Aged Half Duck on the menu again. It was one of my favorite items on their Grand Opening menu, but at that time, Chef Menashe didn’t have enough room to keep it on the menu for more than a day or two.

The Aged Duck Breast Kebab was tender with a light funk from the aging, but still very subtle (not as pronounced as Charcoal’s Aged Duck).

Their Duck Confit Leg portion remains the star here: Moist, succulent, fork-tender meat, with a crisped outer skin.

The Duck Bone Broth was unfortunately too salty. :frowning:

Licorice Ice Cream Bon Bon (Sour Licorice Caramel, Muscovado Cake, Caramelized White Chocolate, Maldon):

I don’t like Licorice, but Pastry Chef Gergis’ Licorice Root Ice Cream Bonbon remains one of the best new Desserts we’ve tried recently. The layers of flavors you get from the Caramelized White Chocolate, Muscovado Cake center, and that backnote of Licorice (not the processed overpowering flavors of Licorice Candy, but something more delicate and subtle), served chilled with that finish of Maldon Salt. Fantastic! :heart:

Bavel continues to deliver on its excellent Spreads and Handmade Breads, creative Appetizers and some tasty Protein dishes, along with some interesting Desserts. Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis’ interpretation of their families’ heritage’s cuisine (Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt) shine through here.

I still dream about their Duck 'Nduja Hummus and Handmade Freshly Baked Pita, their Foie Gras Halva with that crunchy Handmade Buckwheat Loaf and the Baba Ghanoush and excellent Fried Turmeric Pita. Their new Fried Quail, the spicy Roasted Cauliflower and various other Vegetable Appetizers are worth ordering as well. And don’t forget to finish up with a chilled Licorice Root Ice Cream Bonbon.

500 Mateo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: (213) 232-4966


Loved the Duck.
Great report.


Can we get a few more pics of the hummus in here? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I’ll be hitting Bavel on the 24th for the first time. Looking forward to it!


I have no pictures and never been to Bavel but you have the best handle on FTC I’ve seen so far.


This may be my favorite thing to eat in LA right now. If foie is really banned in CA, I will be moving.


Hi @ipsedixit,

Yes! I love that Foie Gras Halva as well. :blush: The Housemade Buckwheat Loaf is so toasty and fragrant and the combination with the Foie Gras spread… so good!

Maybe Chef Ori will “give away” the Foie Gras Halva with an order of Buckwheat? :wink:




I believe foie gras can be sold legally until the Ninth Circuit issues an order removing its stay.