Showing posts with label george abou-daoud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label george abou-daoud. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fast Casual Lebanese at Urban Garden (Los Angeles, CA)

George Abou-Daoud may be famous for his previous enterprises along the lines of gastropub The Bowery or Delancey, but he's started to bring his Middle Eastern heritage into the LA dining scene.

His latest venture is Urban Garden, a fast casual Lebanese spot in Mid-city that boasts free range chicken shawarma, organic chickpeas in the falafel, and more.

As you'd expect from a Lebanse spot, they have hummus, falafel, shawarma, etc.
They have three types of hummus: Traditional hummus, spicy hummus (with spicy pickled peppers), garlic hummus (with thyme roasted garlic). On top of that you can also get a lebneh made with Mediterranean yogurt, topped with French feta cheease and za'atar. There's also babaganoush with sumac.

Urban Garden
Pictured on the wall is Abou-Daoud's mother, who inspired most of the recipes (the baklava with rosewater syrup served here is his mother's recipe). These are the food that Abou-Daoud grew up with, but he's added his own touches.
Urban Garden

Monday, December 22, 2014

Modern Lebanese Dining at Bowery Bungalow

by: guest blogger @iam_robot

You’ve heard it time and time again that Los Angeles is a melting pot of different cultures, where we have various cultures and ethnic groups intermingling in one big community. And that’s what’s great about eating in LA; we get to eat the kind of food other people grow up with or our plate will comprise of newfound eclectic mix of culture from every corner of the world. Just for good measure, look at the dining options in Silverlake. Whether you want the most authentic Chaat from Samosa House, Taiwanese Beef Roll from Pine and Crane, or excellent Northern Thai Curry Khao Soi from Night Market – seriously whatever you want, it’s here in this trendy community and chances are, it’s affordable.
Today, I wanted to share one of the most exciting additions in Silverlake – not too far from the Sunset Junction came George Abou-Daoud’s latest enterprise called as Bowery Bungalow. Unlike his other restaurants (Bowery, Rosewood Tavern, or Mercantile), Bowery Bungalow features cuisines close to Abou-Daoud’s Lebanese upbringing rather than the typical gastropub fares. Yes, he found much success in the gastropub movement since 2005 but being born to a Lebanese mother and Egyptian father, Abou-Daoud felt a natural inclination to showcase his take on modern Lebanese cuisine as middle-eastern inspired cuisines are few and far between in this neighborhood. He thinks herbs we hardly know of (or could pronounce) like marjoram, sorrell, sumac, jute mallow, and purslane could be the next big hit in Los Angeles dining scene. 10_2014_BOWERY_BUNGALOW-25
As far as menu, Bowery Bungalow is a cut above the usual. Focusing on Middle-Eastern cuisines, the place is swank but the price is right. I thought vegetables dishes like Za’atar Bruschetta, Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes, Chickpea Falafel and Fried Cauliflower with toasted Dukkah are some of the things I could never get anywhere else even in this multi-cultural city.

Za’atar Bruschetta

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Bowery: Not Your Ordinary Pub

by guest blogger Brian L. @iam_robot

To be honest, Los Angeles is the mecca of overhyped burger joints and gastropubs. Is it a conspiracy to think a group of Los Angeles restaurateurs collude every week to create another gastropub? I understand public’s desire to drink peanut butter beer from a local brewery or to devour a grass-fed bison burger without the 4 hours commitment in a jacket and slacks; But when there’s too many of them, the flux of turnovers is inevitable. I mean you might fall in love with a burger joint only to realize they had closed down before you made your second visit 6 months later. That said, it's still sad to think of some of the burger joints we recently lost: Kalbi Burger, The Parish, Haven Gastropub, Hamburger Hamlet, and the utterly delicious tamago (egg) burger at Fuku. Till this day, I regard that tamago burger the same way I regard tequila – if I ate one, all of a sudden I wouldn’t be able to stop, and suddenly I’d be broke and jobless.

Initially I had some trepidation when I got the invite to The Bowery. It’s another gastropub – years of experiences have taught me I typically got bored halfway into eating the food that I over-ordered and I’d ask myself, “Is it wrong I kinda wanna cook top ramen in my kitchen rather than eating here?”  But after entering/ observing the Bowery and talking to owner George Abou-Daoud, I knew I was in for a treat.

 Here’s my reasoning: First, George is probably the pioneer of this gourmet burger movement. He’s done it since year 2005, way before we knew the juggernauts: Umami, Father’s Office, and The Counter. The most impressive part is – he did it when the odds were stacked against his favor – Tower Records and The Palladium were closing while those ritzy apartments were probably a rolled-up blue print.
 As a fellow entrepreneur, I admire his fervor. Second, looking at the menu, The Bowery is no ordinary gastropub. Granted the menu could be a smorgasbord of all things irresistible and forbidden on any sort of diet, but they didn’t neglect people who seek balance. There are so many healthier fares I can’t wait to try on my next visit: Roasted Tomato Soup, Spicy Tuna with Saffron Risotto Crostini, Chickpea Falafel, and the Vegan Burger (with Black Bean & Roasted Beet Patty…Interesting!).  

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