Beating the Odds of Getting To Beval…

Food can quell anger.

That is what I was hoping for.

Recently, I booked a 5:30 reservation at the tougher to get into than stopping trump from tweeting, Bavel restaurant.

The owners of the ever trending Bestia opened Bavel just 2 months ago even though planning began in 2013.

Bavel is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergi located in the once derelict and now radically hip arts district in Downtown LA.

The husband-and-wife duo have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with.

Anyway, I picked the early time because I stupidly thought if I left my house on the west side before 4pm I would miss the heavy duty, challenging traffic.


it took 1 hour and 40 minutes to go 21 miles.

Waze had us on every side street to avoid the 10 freeway.

That in and out journey saved 15 minutes.

We were ready to rumble by the time we arrived.

I was sure that Bavel would not defeat my mood…an impossible task.

Well, I am happy to report that Bavel rose to the occasion.

The interior of the brick warehouse is compelling.

The room is light and airy filled with blue and yellow tile, cascading greenery, gold light fixtures and rose gold bar seats.

We were seated at the prep bar and enjoyed conversing with the line cooks.

In need of a drink, I selected a fabulous red from the Languedoc region which was pricey ($19), but $18-19 for a glass of wine appears to be the new normal.

David ordered a Honey Hips Strong Blonde California craft beer ($9).

Farm Cheese

Our opening dish was from the Spreads section.

We chose a superb Farm Cheese with fig leaf and borage flower za’atar, olive oil, sea salt and buckwheat leaf, accompanied by amazing homemade black seed bread. The fig leaf left you with a delightful coconut aftertaste ($11).


We were simultaneously served an outstanding Hummus, a creamy and chunky garbanzo bean puree with green and red chili paste.


A delicious warm, homebaked airy pita accompanied the dish. I appreciated the creative plating of the hummus ($11).


The next duo included Malawach which is an ancient grain crispy layered bread with grated tomato, dill creme fraiche, aged egg and strawberry zhoug ( spicy herb sauce of Yemenite origin that you find in Syria and Israel).

The flatbread was outstanding, but the garlic was overpowering in the dill creme fraiche ($17).

Cucumber and Artichoke Salad

Along with the Malawach, we ordered a fragrant, delicate salad of Cucumber and Artichoke with orange blossom, pickled rose onion, marigold, green garlic and pistachio dukkah spice. There was a lovely rose essence that enhanced the salad ($15).

Grilled Prawns

The harissa marinated Grilled Prawns with the heads on were top notch just too spicy for me, but I appreciated the quality of the seafood. You were instructed to rip the head off and dip it in the luscious eggplant tzatziki ($24).

Grilled Oyster Mushrooms

The final order were the Grilled Oyster Mushrooms which we were too full to consume. They were meaty and delicious. I loved the sear.

I took them home and made a fabulous pasta using the mushrooms the next day ($16).

The menu offers 5 entrees including, Grilled Lamb Saddle Chop ($42), Slow Roasted Lamb Neck Shawarma ($42), Wagyu Beef Cheek Tagine ($42), Grilled Dorade ($38) and Half Duck ($38).

The entrees are generous enough for sharing.

Licorice Bonbon

Not being licorice fans we went against the grain and ordered the enthusiastically recommended Licorice Root Ice Cream Bonbon consisting of sour licorice caramel, muscovado cake (sugar pound cake), caramelized white chocolate and maldon (natural sea salt).

The licorice was a lovely compliment…not overpowering.

The licorice root is imported from Afghanistan ($10).

Desserts by pastry chef, Genevieve Gergi, are as sensational as reported.

I wish Bavel was open for brunch or lunch because getting there is so challenging.

Nevertheless, Bavel is a must.

Our server, Resa, was terrific. She previously worked in New York at Le CouCou so we anticipated excellence and she delivered.

BTW, it only took 20 minutes to get home.

Bavel Bar

Bavel 500 Mateo Street Los Angeles, California. Open for dinner Tuesday-Thursday 5-11pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-Midnight, Sunday 5-11pm. Closed Monday. Reservations on Valet and limited street parking.

One Comment

  1. Omggg looks amazing!!! But the traffic!! 😳 Ps your sarcasm is just hilarious- “tougher to get into than stopping trump from tweeting”. Hahaha love it

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