Longtime Hollywood restaurateur George Abou-Daoud has closed what was perhaps his most personal restaurant to date: Farida. The final night of service was yesterday.
The complex pan-Middle Eastern restaurant featured flavors from across a broad spectrum of the Levant, from Lebanon to Israel to Syria and well beyond. The place was meant to be a calling card for Abou-Daoud, marrying his own background with the rise of Middle Eastern flavors at places like the James Beard-nominated Kismet, Botanica, Mh Zh, and Jaffa on West Third Street.
The location was a bit unconventional for that sort of thing, tucked as it was into the traffic-rich, tourist-heavy business corner of Sunset and Vine, but that’s largely where Abou-Daoud (Bowery, Delancey, Mission Cantina, Tamarind Ave. Deli, Homeward Ground) has clustered most of his work.
Now Farida is no more. Abou-Daoud, long a passionate campaigner at city hall fighting for common-sense small business regulations and tipping reform, says that rising overhead costs and the increase in the minimum wage ultimately sunk the place. No word on what might be next at that address.