Updated: Oct 13, 2021
On The Town With Richard by R. A. Stermer
J’adore by Mr. Habibi, 940 Broxton Avenue (former Shahi Café/Gypsy Café site; already opened) This jaunt found us out and about looking for late-night food on the westside. We navigated to Westwood, towards BJs, to find that they had just closed at 10:00 pm.
Looking across the street, we see J’adore, at the site of what was Gypsy Café for oh, so long. If you know Westwood, you might know the Hookah scene on Broxton. Well, this is an addition to that scene. I’m not really a smoker, so I haven’t participated, but I thought that they might have food. Approaching the front, we were greeted and asked if we were smoking or just eating. We indicated the latter and were directed to a small 2 top. I asked about the more spacious accommodations, next door, but was told that that was for a larger party. We sat down. I ordered a split of Moet and followed up with a few middle eastern food selections, Tabouli, Baba Ganoush and lamb.
A broader category for some of these dishes would be Mediterranean. In my experience, the strength of this style of food is in the seasoning. The subtle play of garlic, lemon and olive oil, with the option of adding the red pepper vinegar sauce, as base ingredients. One of the things that I have become aware of, in this survey of LA eateries, has been an awareness of the aspect of seasoning. Something that, one might think, goes without saying. For the most part, what I have been experiencing has made me think that the food is often being prepared, in the kitchen, somewhat perfunctorily by employees rather than food professionals. I remember having the opportunity to talk with a chef who was opening a new restaurant in LA, a couple years ago.
One of the things I asked him was why I didn’t find more organic meats on menus and he told me it was because we, the public, weren’t willing to pay what a restaurant would have to charge to serve it. “Champagne taste, beer pocketbook.” To be specific, the food checked the boxes, but was, for the most part, somewhat pedestrian. With the exception of the Kunafe they served us for dessert. A crunchy shredded phyllo dough baked with a layer of creamy sweet cheese and then drenched in rosewater syrup.
On tasting it was obvious that this had been prepared with the thought that mother was watching. We added Turkish coffees to the mix and then called it a night. This would be a good spot if you’re looking to hang out with some friends and draw on a hookah. Grab something to eat and make a night of it. $$ so it’s not going to be cheap. But what is in LA?
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