I’m a Los Angeles native and proud to call Southern California my home.
People often ask me, sometimes incredulously, how I can stand to live here. Isn’t the traffic bad? The pollution? The high cost of living?
Trust me, it’s not lost on me that my little bungalow can buy a house 5-6X as large in many other parts of the country. But where else are you going to get mansaf and kanafeh as if you were in Jordan? Or amazing Ethiopian, Italian, or Mexican food…all in the same place?
I was in Orange County for some meetings last week and stopped at a Syrian restaurant called Aleppo’s Kitchen in Anaheim on my way home.
I ordered mansaf, which is actually more a Jordanian dish than Syrian one. This dish is lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt, served over a bed of saffron and topped with toasted almonds and parsley. The dish of “soup” on the side is jameed sauce, which is aged, dried yogurt made of goat’s milk.
Wow was this amazing. Truly amazing!
I had kanafeh for dessert and it was tasty, though I thought Middle East Airlines served a better version.
Sometimes I think instead of always traveling to new places, I should do a “staycation” and discover some more amazing eateries like Aleppo’s Kitchen. If you’re thinking about a trip to Southern California, let me encourage you to make it. Not only will you enjoy beautiful weather and an alluring mix of ocean, mountains, cities, and nature all within an hours drive…you will enjoy the best food in the world.