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I Love Bread Baskets

January 18, 2010

Since Ali has always been pretty indifferent (read: indecisive) about where he eats, I am usually the one to choose the restaurants we visit.  Anyone who knows Ali knows that he isn’t shy about asking for a meal with 50 modifications. I wish I could say I was the perfect customer but of course I have my own issues too.  Waiters often hate us. Managers often hate us. Most of the time I can’t really blame them. In order to minimize meal disasters, my strategy has always been to choose restaurants based on the quality of their bread basket.  Ali and I love love love bread and if it’s good it can usually make up for dismal food.

Our favorite bread in Los Angeles?

1. Il Fornaio
2. Fogo de Chao
3. Grand Lux Cafe

As you probably already know, I found out last year that I am wheat/gluten intolerant.  (How ironic is it that I can no longer eat my favorite food in the world?)  Since then I’ve had to come up with a different criteria for my restaurant selections. Truthfully, I would rather eat at home because attempting to deal with both my allergies and Ali’s demands is just a bit more than I can handle. But if we ate at home seven days a week then our social life would be very sad instead of just pathetic. So my solution is to find ethnic restaurants that don’t revolve around wheat.

We were feeling pretty adventurous and decided to visit Sunnin Lebanese Cafe.  Being that this restaurant is new to us we weren’t sure about wait times and so we attempted to make a reservation.  When we called, however, Sunnin told said that “for our convenience” they don’t take reservations.  Not sure how that is convenient for us but we decided to put our name on the call ahead list and hope for the best.  When we reached the restaurant 15 minutes later we were told to wait off to the side until they called us.  We were confused because there were several empty tables and no other people waiting but by some miracle we managed to keep our mouths shut for a change.

I wasn’t happy about it though. 

Ten minutes later we were still waiting, even though parties that came in after us were seated ahead of us.  I guess the no reservation concept only applied to certain people?

While we waited I took a few pictures of the interior.

It is pretty nice and more importantly, very clean.

We were finally seated and ordered the Fried Cauliflower appetizer.  I wasn’t really feeling it but the Falafel had bread crumbs in it so there weren’t a whole lot of other options for me. 

This was pretty terrible.  Greasy and tasteless.  I had one bite and that was more than enough.

I also ordered the Lebanese salad ( lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a vinaigrette) and the Eggplant Delight (grilled eggplant with tomatoes, diced onions, parsley and EVOO) . 

I had a few bites of each but neither of impressed me.  All I could taste was oil. 

Ali and Maya had the Combo Grill (1 skewer of each, beef kebab, chicken kebab, and kefta kebab, served with hommos, rice, Lebanese salad and pita bread).

Sorry for the blurry picture but apparently I will always be camera challenged.

Ali was happy with his food at least.  And he had NO modifications! 

I ate almost all Ali’s hummus (or hommos ?) and I am happy to say that it was really good.  I still left hungry but what else is new?

Final thoughts on Sunnin – if you eat meat it’s a great place to go.  If you are vegetarian, don’t like greasy food, and have a million allergies, I recommend you eat at home. 

I really need to follow my own advice.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 9:29 pm

    I am sorry abt the bad experience, have you tried going to an indian place? They have lots of oily veggie options.

  2. January 18, 2010 11:26 pm

    You and your daughter are so freaking cute!

    Too bad about dinner. I usually stay with my staple restaurants…..i should venture out more 😉 Honestly I love cooking at home.

    Hmmm bread is sure good. too bad it is not good for us with our allergies 😦


  3. January 19, 2010 3:24 am

    I didnt know you had allergies. It must be really tough eating out. I still love home-cooked food best 😀

  4. January 19, 2010 5:27 am

    OMG, I am so with you on the breadbasket thing. I consider myself to be a bred basket connoisseur LOL. So sad that you are gluten intolerant!!!!!!!!!! Thats just awful. I wouldnt be able to cope with that (on the bright side, maybe thats why you are so thin :)).

  5. January 19, 2010 5:38 am

    Oh no, I did not know that you are gluten intolerant 😦 The food looks good but too much grease is not fun! HOME cooked food rocks 🙂

  6. January 19, 2010 6:42 am

    Aww it sucks that the restaurant you picked was a miss… But at least you can always pick and your husband doesn’t complain 🙂 I’d imagine, in a place like LA, the options tend to be pretty much infinite… I’d get overwhelmed..

    I always like home cooked meals best… but that’s probably just me trying to convince myself because allergies prevent me from eating out as well.

  7. January 19, 2010 7:09 am

    Aw that’s a bummer :(. It’s got to be hard to find good eats when you’re glutan intolerant!

  8. January 19, 2010 9:54 am

    Ha yes my boyfriend is a raging carnivore and although we eat at the same restaurants, the quality is not always the same across the board.

  9. January 19, 2010 10:03 am

    Well, it was an adventure? no?

    It has to be hard to find food OUT that fits.
    we don’t go out hardly EVER so you have more of a social life than I do!


  10. Danielle permalink
    January 19, 2010 10:58 am

    I don’t like when restaurants use so much oil to cook veggies! Seriously…they taste delicious on their own.
    Sorry about the rough dining experience 😕

  11. whydeprive permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:13 am

    Its so hard to find good places to eat when you have allergies!

  12. January 19, 2010 11:24 am

    Ugh! I hate making the effort to eat out at a nice restaurant and then having a less-than-delicious meal 😦

    Better luck next time!

  13. January 19, 2010 11:46 am

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I hate it when that happens. Especially when there’s expectations of a good meal.

    Oh well… lesson learned 🙂

  14. January 19, 2010 1:26 pm

    Oh, not so enjoyable for you hey? Oh well, its all an experience 🙂
    Yay for hummus…hummus and pita can usually save the day 🙂

  15. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    January 19, 2010 1:45 pm

    bummer about the restaurant experience! at least the hummus was good and ali was content

  16. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    January 19, 2010 1:45 pm

    oh and il fornaio’s bread is soooo good!

  17. January 19, 2010 5:01 pm

    You´re daughter is SO cute!
    By the way, I love your blog!
    You have such amazing writing skills. Seriously 🙂
    Brazilian kisses,

  18. January 19, 2010 6:01 pm

    Sorry you didn’t have a great meal.

    We have a great labanese place here in Houston.. if you are ever here.. it is called Fadi’s 🙂

  19. louisianagrown permalink
    January 19, 2010 6:41 pm

    Ugh. Something about shelling out lots of money for restaurant food and having it taste nasty can really ruin a day/week/month/year. Haha, okay.. maybe just a day.

  20. January 20, 2010 4:49 am

    Aww. I hate leaving a restaurant hungry. I am a pure non-veggie so I hog quite a bit! 😀

  21. January 20, 2010 4:06 pm

    Oh gosh. I hate it when they let other people in before you, especially if there are empty tables! I have had to wait so long before (with service like that) that I have almost left when I got inside.

    I will have to remember NOT to try this place if I am ever in LA! Ha.

  22. January 22, 2010 6:20 am

    Ugh, It’s so disappointing when you try to eat out and the food ends up terrible like that. I am vegetarian too and get so annoyed at restaurants that think they’re doing me a favor offering a single veg option that’s just loaded down with oil and fat. ICK. I think I’ll stay home and save my money thank you very much.

  23. March 2, 2010 11:23 am

    Great post thanks, all the best. I really enjoy reading this blog, it has a good location on my favourites bar! Helaine Meadow

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