Do you know the name George Abou-Daoud?
It’s entirely possible that you’ve never heard of the name George Abou-Daoud. He’s one of those guy-behind-the-guy types who would rather spend his time feeding Hollywood everything from burgers to tacos to cocktails to pizza to deli sandwiches, without himself saying so much as a word. But there he is, owning a slew of the most popular eateries along Sunset Boulevard, and with bright new plans for another one soon.
Abou-Daoud is perhaps most famous for owning Bowery, a long-running New York City-style bar in Hollywood. The place is full of subway tile (yes, before it became a thing), plays to the local crowd, and has a particular distinction as the place you go to get a very good burger served on an English muffin. But he also owns Delancey, a popular pizza place nearby, as well as Mission Cantina, Twins Sliders, and the Tamarind Ave. Deli around the corner.
Now Abou-Daoud is leaning heavily into his Middle Eastern roots with a new opening to be called Farida. True to form, the restaurant will occupy space along Sunset Boulevard right next to Bowery, inside the former decade-old Magnolia. The plan, says Abou-Daoud, is to bring a modern vibrancy to LA’s Middle Eastern food scene, merging traditional Lebanese, Palestinian, and Egyptian techniques (among others) with California flavors and produce. Think of it as a 2.0 version of Bowery Bungalow, the hideaway Silver Lake Middle Eastern spot — which Abou-Daoud also happens to own.
At right around 2,000 square feet, Farida will offer up an expansive, open layout with a full bar, communal tables, patio space, and some old Egyptian movie posters hanging from the walls. This won’t be the white-walled sunny mecca of Jewish and Middle Eastern food that Jessica Koslow is bringing to West LA, but something more colorful and cheeky.
The plan for now is to reopen the space as Farida by January, keeping lunchtime through late night weekday hours from noon to 2 a.m., with evening-only plans for the weekend. When it opens, expect Abou-Daoud to be there all the time — a rarity for the mysterious man behind much of Hollywood’s steady dining success. He says Farida marks a personal turn in his career towards more personal food ventures, so there’s a good chance he’ll be working the floor, eyeing dishes as they come out and regaling longtime fans of his other restaurant handiworks with stories of changing Hollywood over all these years. He’s attuned to the subtle movements those regulars (or you) might not have noticed, but with years quietly spent along Sunset Boulevard, George Abou-Daoud has spent plenty of time just watching it all go by.
Recess Eatery in Highland Park is no more
Looks like a flip for Recess Eatery out of Highland Park, as the York restaurant has decided to operate under the name 51 Tavern. Things are still largely the same (there’s beer and wine, plus food with an occasional Middle Eastern kick), plus operating hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Toothpix tackles Rice Bar
Downtown’s Rice Bar is a ... cozy place to enjoy a meal. With just eight stools tucked into a roughly 200 square foot space, former fine dining chef Charles Olalia is turning out some of the most eye-opening Filipino food in the city. As the hilarious Toothpix team shows though, that doesn’t mean eating inside the restaurant isn’t a little more narrow-minded.
More Alma doughnuts
Another month, another doughnut collaboration for Alma at the Standard. This time it’s with the Madcapra team behind the upcoming restaurant Kismet, working a cream-filled cardamom doughnut for brunch. The collaboration launches tomorrow and runs through December 15.
A new chef for Augustine Wine Bar
The Valley’s popular Augustine Wine Bar is heading for another new chef, with Ventura Blvd. Magazine reporting that Simon Tan (Mardi, State Bird Provisions) has stepped into the role. Of course this will always be a casual dining kind of place, meant to pair with Matthew Kaner, David Gibbs, and Dustin Lancaster’s wine selections.
Iron Triangle turns one
Downtown’s bombastic Iron Triangle Brewing is officially turning one. Owner Nathan Cole is celebrating with a big ol’ party too, including an industry night on Saturday and a ticketed Sunday party that includes music from Gas Lamp Killer Experience. Tickets are available now for $20 a head ($25 at the door).