During the Covid19 epidemic there are many restaurants in Los Angeles with patio dining. One of those restaurants located in Westwood near UCLA is Habibi Cafe.
The first original Egyptian Cafe in Westwood, Habibi’s provides Hookahs, where various sports personalities frequent. Shaquille O’ Neal among other basketball greats also enjoys the quality of cuisine at Habibi’s Cafe.
Because I enjoy traveling to unique restaurants, Habibi’s owner Saad Fathi shared some history of Egyptian cuisine. The cuisine of Egypt covers a span of over 3,000 years, but still retains many consistent traits until well into Greco Roman times.
Egyptian cuisine uses legumes, vegetables and fruit from Egypt’s rich Nile Valley and Delta. It shares similarities with the food of the Eastern Mediterranean region such as stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, shawarma kebab and kofia.
Our Culinary Journey
On this occasion, my guests for our culinary journey included Tom Hallick, a veteran actor known for his role as Brad Garrett on “The Young and Restless,” and star on various TV shows such as “Murder She Wrote.” Tom escorted his wife Yin Jiang, a concert violinist, who has traveled throughout the world tasting delectable foods.
We started off our evening with Habibi juice and Mango juice. Humus, tabouli and feta cheese and tomato salad were our appetizers. Our main entree consisted of Chicken Kabab, Lamb, and Soujouk Maklie-Halal, a prepared beef sausage served with tahini sauce, tomatoes, french fries, and chopped parsley.
With a hearty appetite, I decided to partake in Arayes-Hawawshi, which consists of ground beef or feta cheese in pita bread, with special seasonings, onion, jalapeno, parsley. It was delicious.
The reason this dish has a double name is that in Egypt it is called Hawawshi, while to the north, around Lebanon, it is called Arayes.
What a delight these meals are, and with such large servings you can bring leftovers home and enjoy it again later.
Regardless of how full our tummies were after the tender meal, we all had to delight in the deserts. Yin Jiang enjoyed Tiramisu, Tom Hallick enjoyed fruit tart and I had the German Chocolate Cake with ice cream.
“This was another winner, excellent cuisine, my love,” Hallick said. That’s because Tom knows that in Arabic, Habibi translates to “My Love.”
Thanks to Saad Fathi, an excellent host.
Visit Habibi Cafe
Habibi Cafe is located at 933 Broxton Ave in Westwood. For reservations call 310-704-1136 or 310-824-2277. Open 24 hours.
Celebrity Scene News awards 4 stars to Habibi Cafe for authentic Egyptian cuisine and service.