Acabar Los Angeles

Growing up in Los Angeles, Dar Maghreb was LA’s premier Moroccan restaurant. I remember my parents going there on special occasions. I even remember going with them once when I was a tween and being mesmerized by the decor, the belly dancers, sitting on pillows and eating with my hands. But after 40 years, the restaurant closed and a new restaurant opened in its place last year – Acabar.

Acabar

Over the past year, I have seen Acabar at various events around Los Angeles, including LA Food and Wine and LA Times Taste. At these events, Chef de Cuisine Kevin Luzande was behind the table serving up the amazingly delicious crispy lamb buns. Every time I tried one of these, I told myself that I needed to go to Acabar.

Fried Buns with braised lamb, sriracha aioli, pear chutney, cotija cheese

Acabar as been open for one year now and I finally made it in in time for the new Fall menu. From the minute you open up the large gold doors, you will be transported into another world.

Acabar

While Acabar is no longer a Moroccan restaurant, the interior decor is still the same with intricate marbling, tiles and ceiling painting. A large fire pit sits in the center of the room with an open rooftop above. On one side of the fire pit is the dining room and on the other side is a dance floor (on weekends it turns into a club) with a long bar running between the two.

Acabar

To start the night, I ordered a cocktail from bar manager Quiana LaFleur whose new fall cocktail menu is divided into three categories – “Strong,” Floral,” and “Aromatic.” My choice was the California Sage with London dry gin, sage, cardamom, pineapple, lime and falernum.

Bar Manager Quiana LaFleur California Sage

We sat down at a table and the food started to flow. The menu is global with French and Mediterranean influences but features fresh, local ingredients. With raw oysters the first item on the menu, we ordered a few to get started and they are served with an assortment of mignonette and sauces.

Fresh Oysters assortment of mignonette + sauces

There are two bread options and we went with the Country Crouton – large chunks of soft bread served with sweet caramelized apples, rich, creamy brillat savarin cheese, pumpkin seeds and calvados.

Country Crouton

The Duck Duo Salade from the Earth section of the menu comes with cured duck breast, crispy duck rillette, charred chicory, orange marmalade and verjus and perfectly highlights Fall flavors with citrus notes.

Duck Duo Salade

From the Sea section of the menu, we went with three dishes:

Kanpachi Crudo with amber jack fish, shaved pears, olive dust, plum vinaigrette and salmon roe.

Kanpachi Crudo

Crispy Shrimp Toast with rock shrimp, thai basil with a fried quail egg on top, served with fish sauce.

Crispy Shrimp Toast

Skewered Spicy Prawns with harissa are spicy but dates add a sweetness and the labneh yogurt and pistachio dip cool off the heat.Skewered Spicy Prawns

Then from the Large Plates section, we ordered another three selections:

Crispy Pork Belly Cubes with caramelized apples, white grits, braised kale and dirty sauce.

Crispy Pork Belly Cubes

Agnolotti with butternut squash, house cured bacon, fruit mostarda, sage cream and balsamic reduction.

Agnolotti

NZ Snapper, vermouth poached, truffled potato + leeks and purple chips.NZ Snapper

As the conversation flowed from course to course, so did the wines. Sommelier Emmanuel Faure has put together a beautiful wine list featuring both domestic and international wines and has over 20 wines by the glass.

Wine

A meal isn’t complete without dessert and I loved the deconstructed Banana Cream Pie with banana custard, spiced plantain, wafer and sponge cake.

Banana Cream Pie

But after a filling meal, the Coconut Coulant with coconut custard, mango compote, coconut powder and coconut foam was ideal – light, airy and refreshing. No matter how full you are, you will have room for this.

Coconut Coulant

Here’s hoping Acabar will be around as long as Dar Maghreb was. One year down…..39 more to go!

Acabar
1510 N Stanley Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

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