New Middle Eastern spot Bavel opens its doors in Arts District

Photo: Bavel/Yelp

An upscale new addition to the Arts District, called Bavel, is the Middle Eastern-themed project of married Bestia chef-owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. The Los Angeles Times reports that the hotly anticipated new restaurant pulls from both chefs' family backgrounds in Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

Located at 500 Mateo St., Bavel's menu includes an array of spreads, flatbreads and cured meats as well as entrees like the slow-roasted lamb neck shawarma with creme fraiche tahini, fermented cabbage, pickled turnips and laffa bread. For dessert, try the strawberry sumac and sweet cheese pastry with pistachio ice cream or the cardamom prune apple cake. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Bavel has garnered rave reviews thus far, with a 4.5-star rating out of 44 reviews on Yelp.

"This is one of the best restaurants in LA, hands down," said Mike D., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on May 5. "I would highly recommend the malawach and the shawarma. ... Honestly everything was terrific and I'm sure that's the case for the entire menu."

"The stars on the menu are definitely mostly in the appetizer section, so I'd recommend ordering up on several of those and choosing one entree to split," said Yelper Valerie L. "Favorites are the duck hummus and the grilled prawns, which are incredible and shouldn't be missed."

Reservations are available on the restaurant's website. Bavel is open from 5-11 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Monday.)
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