Open Sesame--a delight
Needed a spot in Belmont Shores, Long Beach, for lunch and decided to give a Lebanese restaurant, Open Sesame, a try after seeing it mentioned on this board.
Two of us shared the Open Sesame Combo Plate ($10.99), kafta, chicken lawook and beef kabob with rice, pita, salad and hummus, and the Lamb Kabob Plate ($9.99) with rice, pita, salad and baba ganoush. (An earlier posting said beef was no longer served at this restaurant--evidently a switch back.) Everything was terrific, including baba ganoosh that actually tasted like it had been in the vicinity of a fire, and hummus as silky as any I've had. All the chicken and meat pieces were especially good dipped in the addictive garlicky yogurt sauce. Good value as to quantity for the price, and I noticed sandwiches available for less than $5. Decent baklava, too.
Place is a little cramped with only about a dozen tables, music that bordered, well maybe was over the border on being too loud, and oddly a tiny, and awkward kitchen that had to be navigated to get to the bathroom. Kind of had to do a do si do with a couple of cooks to get in and out. Those VERY minor quibbles worth overlooking for such good food.
5215 E. 2nd St., Long Beach
Great timing! My husband and I just had lunch there this weekend (at the newer corner location). We sat on the patio and enjoyed the people watching almost as much as the food. Everything was really seasoned well and very fresh. We had the spicy hummus and it was fantastic! Prices were really reasonable and we had a great tasting and filling lunch!
Will definitely go back again!
I've probably been there a dozen times. Definitely one of my favorite Long Beach restaurants. Consistently good. I usually get their lamb; delicious!
They're had to open an additional storefront just a few seconds away from their original location. Hopefully this will alleviate the wait times, as they were getting to be bordering on ridiculous.
And to think that this is actually the 3rd storefront. What looks like the original one is actually 2, they started w/the one in the middle only. BTW...Magic Lamp just down the block on the south side of the street is also excellent. They have a great lamb sausage appetizer, not always on the menu, but ask.
Went to Open Sesame over the weekend for the first time. I was a bit confused because there were two restaurants on the same block... which worked for me because there really wasn't a long wait. Parking is always a pain in Belmont Shores but I was really glad I spent the 30 minutes looking for parking! The food made me forget about the previous 30 minutes of complete frustration. I ordered some hummus for an appetizer, ordered the Sultan's Platter (Tiger Shrimp, Filet Mignon, and Lamb Chops over rice, baba ganoush, fattoush). The lamb chops just melted in my mouth -- they were really some of the most tender lamb chops ever. Everything on the dish was cooked to the right tenderness. My sister unfortunately got the raw end of the deal; she ordered the Chicken Shwarma plate. The chicken was fairly dry, but the garlic paste helped conceal some of the dryness. Other than this, the experience was great. The servers and hosts were very courteous and seemed genuinely nice. Refills came promptly, as did the food. Definitely will come back to try all the other menu items.
((Two thumbs up))
I just had a wonderful lunch at Open Sesame on Monday, food wise. The fried potatoes plate was just what I was looking for that day. But the service! My server did not crack a smile once, seemed completely unaffected by anything I said, was very curt, and best of all, FLUNG my check at my table when I was done! I can empathize with the having-a-bad-day syndrome, but this was way past that.