Alcazar

17239 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
818-789-0991

Details

  • Sun 12pm-9pm, Tue-Thu 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am
  • $$
  • Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
  • Full bar
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout
  • Parking Lot Available
  • Reservations Accepted
"Zahle in the Valley," a friend calls it, a bit of Mediterranean Lebanon in the middle of Encino: a shaded terrace of music, grilled mullet and bright coals of apple-scented tobacco burning in brass hookahs. The cooks are reportedly Egyptian and Lebanese, but the owner, a well-known Armenian crooner who sometimes sings here on weekends, is not above insisting on the chile-red Armenian version of hummus and the fluffy raw-beef dish kibbe nayeh to go along with the fried sea bass with fried pita and tahini; stuffed grape leaves, and a dish of sautéed chicken livers with pomegranate that are delicious enough to make you forget you don't necessarily like innards. The shish towook, grilled kebabs of extravagantly marinated chicken breast, is as good as a kebab ever gets. On weekends, ultrathin sajj bread, like lavash, is baked on the patio over a vast heated surface, wrapped around grilled meat or made into the thin, crisp, thyme-scented Arab quesadillas called kl'leg. Lebanon is famous for its red wine, but Alcazar, in the gentle levant of Encino, also serves oceans of arak, an anise-scented Lebanese liquor that turns milky when you stir it with ice and cool water.

Related Stories (7)

  • Alcazar: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
    4 years ago by Jonathan Gold

    When it's pretty late at night, and you are half-woozy on arak and secondhand hookah smoke, and the fried mullet in front of you has long since been transformed into skeletons yet you can't resist swabbing bits of fried pita around ...

  • Alcazar: An Old Friend
    5 years ago by Jonathan Gold

    For most of the decade, there may have been no more pleasant place in Los Angeles to eat Middle Eastern food than in Alcazar's shaded patio, a balmy place scented with hookah smoke, garlic and the hot sajj bread baking on its grill....

  • First Bite: Alcazar is Back, Serving Crunchy Boreg in Encino
    5 years ago by Jonathan Gold

    For most of the decade, there may have been no more pleasant place in Los Angeles to eat Middle Eastern food than in Alcazar's shaded patio, a balmy place scented with hookah smoke, garlic, and the hot sajj bread baking on its grill...

  • Eating in Encino
    6 years ago by Jonathan Gold

    Dear Mr. Gold: Where would one go for lunch with a group after a high school graduation — I mean, besides the school cafeteria — in the Woodland Hills/Encino area? It’s bad enough sitting through one of these thing...

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