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Dec 4, 2008 05:27 PM

Skaf's Grill

(Full post and pics on my blog:


I certainly felt like a fool walking around in the heat of December in LA. Maybe the foolish part was not renting a car, forcing me to build an appetite by pounding the pavement. Regardless, the oasis at the end of my hike through the urban jungles of North Hollywood was Skaf's Grill, and I was ready for a Lebanese lunch while escaping the clutches of a Southern California winter heatwave.

I first wanted to try the ful, a dish that Bourdain featured on the Egypt episode of No Reservations (despite the protests of his Egyptian handlers). Essentially a fava bean stew, it's thick and hearty and were I in proper December weather, would have been perfect. As it was, I could only have so much of it before feeling the weight of it sink into my stomach. But as mentioned in the episode, it's meant to be peasant food, and that's always going to be sort of dish toward which I gravitate.

But I couldn't very well leave without having something grilled. I ended opting for the grilled chicken, the shish tawook. In plate form, it arrives with rice (which this Filipino always appreciates) as well as some very delicious hummus and cabbage salad. Already weighed down by the ful, I foolheartedly pressed on, determined not to seem disrespectful by nibbling at the wonderfully grilled chicken.

By the time I paid my bill and stepped out into the NoHo sun, I mentally checked my afternoon to-do list. Meeting in Studio City. Meeting in Calabasas. Despite the weather, I opted to hit the pavement once more, this time with noticably less spring in my step. It was all delicious, but now I have to work some of it off.

Skaf's Grill
6008 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

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  1. I am a Skaf's regular and most everything I have ever had there is tasty. LA Magazine voted them best hummous in LA but their babaganoush is even better IMO.
    And the kibbe - either baked (which is the Monday special) of fried is simply delicious.

    1. This place is great. I used to work up the street and ate there multiple times a week.

      I haven't been in months, and my work schedule kept me away, but I'm hoping to go for lunch tomorrow if I can possibly sneak off the lot for an hour.

      1. I am also a regular here, I cant get enough. The chicken is great and so is the kefta.
        Love the hummus too.
        Glad you enjoyed it.

        1. Is the Skaf's in Glendale the same restaurant/owner?

          1 Reply
          1. re: duke_of_mildew

            Yes, it is. The one in Glendale is nicer decor but I like the O.G. Skaf's in the 'hood better. :)

          2. I too like Skaf's, but what heat are you alluding to? It is no more than 70 degrees, which is business as usual.
            But as another has stated, the baba is even better.

            2 Replies
            1. re: carter

              It was 40 in Portland, and I guess in one year since leaving Southern California, I had grown accustomed to the weather.

              1. re: carter

                Carter, we wouldn't even dream of eating at Skaf's without an order of their fabulously smoky baba. They are always happy to accommodate my "double salad no rice" order, too.