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L'Os: The Smokin' Mezze... Keep Your Kids Away
Some thought my last review on L'Os was too negative, while others have agreed with what I had to say... Nevertheless, every place deserves another try -like we always do it at NGNO- and it's amazing how different an experience can be from a week day to a week-end... from day to night, from storm to calm... I came back on a Wednesday evening where the place looked very different from the last time which was on a sunday.
As you enter the main entrance, a blue lit fountain welcomes you. The valet guy was nice and even suggested that I wear my jacket so I didn't feel cold when we left.
The first impression was a good one: the place looks neat and clean...Inside this large dining space tables are set with enough space around them to allow easy passage around. I would personally have preferred to see the waiters smile a bit, but instead I enjoyed the classical music playing in the background of the dimmed lit space...
Smoking is allowed, but that night, because the place was calmer, the smell was discreet.
While waiting for the food, I took the time to look at the decor. The floor is covered with brown tiles, the ceiling with gypsum board, some decorative flowers refresh the wall on the right while the space is filled with rectangular table.
To have a complete idea of the food, we ordered a bit of everything and waited to be served:
- Starting with the grape vine leaves, I loved their size, their thick envelop and their strong lemony flavor. A bit salty, but this plate's overall taste is good.
- The fattoush was fresh and perfectly seasoned. Parsley, purslane, lettuce, tomatoes, fried bread, mint and pomegranate. The summak and lemon add the strength needed to make it good.
- The cheese rolls, which we asked for grilled, were a bit chewy but full of taste. I suggest you stick to the fried version.
- The sambousik and Kebbe were good, add some hummus and enjoy. Loved the Sambousik's tenderness.
- My favorite plate is the goat labneh cylinder which I order at all lebanese restaurants like Mhanna, Burj el Hamam and Halabi. L'Os' Labneh is as good as the other.
- The best tonight is the Hummos: I loved it, with its rich flavors and tender meat in the middle. I finished a plate of hummos on my own.
- You can't come here and not order the garlic bread. A long baguette, toasted to perfection and filled with a garlic cream. I personally have issues with garlic so couldn't even smell it, but everyone tonight loved it. It is indeed a signature.
- Tabbouleh: Nothing to write home about
- The makanek are excellent: A strong peppery feel, a crunch and a rich filling. Grilled and not dry. Yummy!
- Grilled halloumi, comes in a large round plate. Three thick slices of halloumi separated by slices of tomatoes. Smooth and soft halloumi, grilled and melting. I would have preferred if the tomatoes are grilled.
- Frogs: All frogs contain garlic so I personally couldn't try them, but I heard from the table that they were perfect, one of the best frogs they've ever had.
Dinner ended with a large selection of fruits and a complementary plate of ice cream. Beautifully presented ice cream cones, served upside down. Delicious ice cream in fresh crunchy cones. Blackberries, lemon, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, peanuts and melon. Perfect ice cream flavors…
You can’t leave without trying their Halawa baguettes. Crunchy baguettes filled with warm halwa. Even though simple to do at home, this mouthwatering dessert has a special touch at L’Os and must be ordered.
- The portions are generous
- The plates are beautifully presented
- The prices are reasonable
- The place is clean and neat
- Dinner is relaxing and enjoyable
- The head waiter is very professional
- I’d fine-tune some of the plates; expected more of the food
- Wished I could see more smiling faces around
Tonight's experience was surely better than last time. For a calm Lebanese dinner during the week, L'Os on the hills of Ain Saade is still serving his clientele what he has had for the last 50 years, some good and consistent quality... I'll personally skip week-ends.