Zaatar Bread with Labneh in LA?
In NYC one of my favorite dishes was at a midtown takeout place called Bread & Olives. They serve Middle Eastern fare (shawarma, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, hummus, tabouleh etc.) as well as a delicious hand-tossed pizza called zaatar bread.
Of the many plates offered, my boss and I fell in love with the "labneh with zaatar and vegetables" which was simply the pizza mentioned above--a round flatbread disk baked in the charcoal oven with an olive oil & zaatar spice blend--fresh out of the oven topped with chopped tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh mint and labneh (dollop of ricotta-like cheese), then rolled it up for $7.
This sandwich is such an incredible taste experience! However I wonder if such a thing can be had in LA. I've read about the bread itself served with hummus at Celadon, and I've had a labneh appetizer at Carnival, but not the sandwich itself. Anyone have an idea where I could start looking?
There's a Lebanese place at the Bonaventure Hotel downtown LA. It's called Olive Branch, located on the pool deck (next to the Brewerey restaurant). He makes his own little pizzas including something similar to which you describe (but not rolled) which he sells as "Thyme Herb Pizza". Comes topped with lebneh. He does with a nice mixed salad for a cheap price (it's a paper plate kind of place). He could probably add the tomatoes and mint because they're usually on hand for his salad, but I don't believe I've seen the olives. The only caveat is that the right brother needs to be cooking (the one with more hair). And it's a bit slow and disorganized. The 3-salad combo plate is another good buy. I like the tabbouleh which is mostly parsley, the potato salad, the eggplant, and well pretty much everything they have come to think of it.
You're in luck my friend!! The most amazing Zaatar is at a fabulous restaurant on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore (Long Beach) . Not sure where you're located but I can assure you its worth the drive!!
You can get the zaatar with or with out feta cheese and labneh on the side. OR they have the sandwich as you mentioned with olive, tomatoe and mint.
There spicy hummus is to die for and they have an amazing selection of Lebanese cuisine.
I moved to NY last year and am yet to find anywhere that compares to their food.
5215 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803