There’s two things that lure me in to restaurants involving anything “Moroccan” inspired: the incredible lavish, ornate decor that never ceases to amaze and the aromatic Middle Eastern taste bud party that comes with the cuisine. Acabar in Hollywood is all that and then some – all that and a bag of chips as I like to say. Acabar is the perfect love child between Los Angeles hip/progressive cookery, French perfection, and Middle Eastern/Moroccan/Asian inspired taste. But really in all honesty, I knew I loved Acabar before I’d even met Acabar, it’s all in the name and the people behind this new Hollywood hot spot.
The magic that comes with dining at Acabar begins the moment you open one of the massive iron doors and step in to the Acabar world. You really feel as if you’ve walked in to another time in another place; I personally kinda felt like I’d walked into a fabulous Marrakech salon as my animal spirit Carrie Bradshaw during a scene in the Sex and the City movie (the 2nd one) when the girls take that exotic trip to Abu Dhabi – just sans an “urban turban” and a pair of Manolo’s. There was gorgeous dim lighting, tall Moorish arches and pillars, mosaic tiled ceilings, perfectly pressed linens, gold lined accents, and billowy middle eastern fabrics strewn about the purple lit lounge. It was spectacular. It’s not often you get quite a well thought out intricate design element at a restaurant, at least to this degree, I assure you. They’ve truly taken restaurant ambiance and decor to a whole other level; it almost really does feel like a movie set it’s so elaborate in comparison to your average LA hang out.
The rest of the magic that comes with dining at Acabar is of course the incredible meal; most of the items on the menu I had never heard of or tried, so decidedly their menu and cuisine is where Acabar becomes one of the most special and distinctive restaurants LA has to offer. As explained by our wonderful waiter, the menu is a splash of LA, mixed with a dose of Middle Eastern, sprinkled with a dash of French influence and a few other fun elements; all created by the masterminds that brought us some of LA finest and favorite restaurants like The Little Door, Playa, and Patina. I had every intention of going with the Dine LA menu they were offering that night but there was just too much I wanted and needed to try. I felt like a kid in a candy store getting to try and discover all kinds of new dishes and tastes.
We recognize that much of the current global gastronomies are rooted in La Cuisine Française and simply want to celebrate its culinary influences in so many of the foods that we most enjoy cooking, eating, and sharing… Join us on the culinary journey that leads us through… The Spice Trail… a Méditerranée / Indochine / Franco-Afrique / The Levant / South East Asia. Our menu consists of morsels meant to be shared along with larger communal style dishes.
When a menu with a disclaimer like the above presents itself, you order one of everything or die trying. Everything from the Country Croton, to the Charred Octopus, all the way to the incredible coffee and Pear Tartlet to finish was sublime. I was able to try quite a bit from the menu and genuinely expected to have tight pants and a tight wallet by the end of it, but to my pleasant surprise and delight it ended up being a perfectly balanced meal that in fact did not cost me an arm and a leg. It ended up being a damn near perfect meal. The staff was so accommodating and kind letting us keep our reservation we were so frustratingly late to; they did not have to, but assured us we could take our time. I have to say, coming from such a hot restaurant that has every right to be pretentious if they wanted to be, I’m so grateful to the Acabar staff for letting me actually enjoy my wonderful meal.
The takeaway from this is Acabar is truly unlike any other restaurant in Los Angeles, one where you will not have another meal quite like theirs, you wont find a restaurant let alone a movie set that is as gorgeous and captivating as its interior, and you are encouraged by the wonderful staff (from hostess, waiter, to chef) to enjoy and experience the Acabar world. Get to it people.