Garo Jansezian and brother Vrej opened Café Lori in Monrovia last week, naming their restaurant for the Armenian province that produced their grandparents. The former home of an Indian restaurant called Ice Spice is tucked into the north face of Krikorian Monrovia Cinema 12.
The 50-item menu features options like muttabal – roasted eggplant mixed with sesame oil, lemon juice and garlic; sarma – grape leaves stuffed with rice, walnuts, tomato, onions, parsley and spices; and fattoush – sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with onion, bell peppers, parsley, mint and toasted pita bread.
You’ll also find less widespread options like Frri – sautéed quail with garlic, lemon and cilantro; Awerma – hummus toped with lamb filet and pine nuts; and pan-fried chicken liver.
Entrées revolve around heaping plates of flame-licked kebabs, including filet, shish, chicken, lamb and lula.
For dessert, the brothers make several varieties of baklava in-house.