'LATimes' names Israeli restaurant best of 2019

Bavel was opened by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis last year.

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April 23, 2019 17:16
1 minute read.
'LATimes' names Israeli restaurant best of 2019

The Los Angeles Times has named an Israeli/Middle Eastern restaurant in the city its best eatery of 2019.. (photo credit: T.TSENG/FLICKR)

 
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The Los Angeles Times has named an Israeli/Middle Eastern restaurant in the city its best eatery of 2019.

The newspaper on Monday gave its top culinary honor to Bavel, a restaurant opened last year by the husband-and-wife team Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis.

“It’s a restaurant that wonderfully encapsulates the all-things-Middle-Eastern movement sweeping Los Angeles,” wrote LATimes food writer Jenn Harris. “The hummus is reason enough to give Bavel all the awards.”

The restaurant defines itself as Middle Eastern, combining the co-owners’ family roots of “Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt.”

The restaurant serves classic Israeli dishes like za’atar flatbreads, malawach, roasted cauliflower, lamb shawarma and hummus alongside items including grilled prawns and tomahawk ribeye.


The restaurant is named for the biblical story of the tower of Babel, known in the original Hebrew as Bavel.

“The story of Bavel is from a time when the Middle East was one,” according to the restaurant’s website. “When we read this story, we liked the word Bavel, because it was written during a time when everything was one – Bavel is not specific to any one region.”

Menashe was born in Los Angeles to Israeli parents, and grew up in Israel. After his IDF service, he returned to LA, worked in restaurants, met and married interior designer and pastry chef Gergis and together they opened the acclaimed Italian eatery, Bestia, in 2012.

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