High energy is obvious throughout Bavel, the modern Middle Eastern restaurant from Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis in the DTLA Arts District. People line up at the base of the stairs prior to opening and hear a raucous cheer from inside the building, where the staff convenes for a pre-service cheer. If this were a football game, this cheer would certainly strike fear into the opposition. From there, diners filter upstairs to a packed house and open kitchen where cooks stoke flames of a hearth that feasts on white oak and cherry woods and produces some of L.A.’s boldest food.
National publications have started to heap praise on the couple’s vision for Bavel. Hits are easy to come by on a sizable menu, but it would be hard to find a dish better than their Oyster Mushroom Kebab ($20). The team simply seasons the floppy mushrooms with salt, olive oil and tangy sumac and sears on the wood grill until folds and edges become crispy. For dramatic effect, servers slide the contents from the stainless steel skewer tableside, plating atop a bright, beautiful green lovage & cardamom puree. This mushroom preparation is good enough for Bavel customers to momentarily forget meat.