Samir Braidi and cousin Alan Hajjar (Pig ‘N Whistle, Cabana Club) opened Mediterranean Fresh one week ago next to Musso & Frank Grill. The Beirut natives combined three small storefronts. The space now features a towering 39-foot, curved wood ceiling. The airy space also includes open kitchen, an enclosed patio and sidewalk seating along Hollywood Boulevard. The cousins own the building and leased the adjacent Vogue theater to Supperclub, which will debut in 2009.
The cousins imported Chef Roge Zakour from Lebanon to prepare native specialties like rotisserie chicken, lamb kebab, shish taouk (slow-roasted chicken slices) and shawarma (either chicken or beef). Falafel combines garbanzo beans, fava beans and fresh herbs. The orbs are available either baked or fried. There’s even seafood, including marinated grilled red snapper, marinated grilled shrimp skewers and roasted Atlantic salmon. You’ll also find a variety of Mediterranean salads and sandwiches. Nothing costs over $9.99.
Every plate comes with rice and a choice of two sides. Think hummus, baked eggplant, herb-roasted potatoes or babaganoush.
A brick oven produces spinach and cheese fatayer, za’atar seasoned flatbreads and sambusek – pastries filled with spiced ground beef. Jebneh offers “the traditional heavenly taste of melted kashkawan cheese wrapped in thin dough.” Customers can also order “baked exotic cheese.”
Mediterranean Fresh will eventually bake its own baklava, but for now, they’re dessert-free.