Baba Ghanouj: Cheese Borek, Falafel & Shish Taouk

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Welcome to Free Lunch, kcet.org's original web series where a community member introduces viewers to their favorite restaurant.

This week we had the pleasure of accompanying D.J. Waldie, author, editor and blogger for kcet.org, to Baba Ghanouj in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood in Long Beach.

D.J. has been an observer and chronicler of Los Angeles' history for decades. He wrote Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir, a book about growing up in Lakewood after World War II. D.J. has a genuine love for Lakewood and was more than happy to talk about the history of the town he grew up in.

I was fascinated by D.J.'s stories and could have talked with him at length about L.A.'s history, but I was also there to treat him to lunch. Always the raconteur, D.J. had a great story for wanting to eat at Baba Ghanouj, largely to do with the chef, George Mitri.

George Mitri & D.J. Waldie.

D.J. feasted on a variety of Lebanese classics including hummus, cheese borek (a blend of cheeses, stuffed in dough), warak siam (stuffed grape leaves) and shish taouk (marinated chicken cubes, charbroiled and served with basmati rice, hummus and garlic sauce).

Hummus.

Cheese Borek.

Warak Enab.

Shish Taouk.

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Baba Ghanouj
4276 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90807-2802
(562) 424-4567

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As a cosmetic sugeon of Lebanese oringin, I say D.J. has good taste buds because Lebanese cuisine is one of the best and richest in the world. I also suggest D.J. to taste Mjaddara, fattoush, and tabouleh, or visit Zankoo chicken on his next trip to Los Angeles.