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 the sort of dish toward which I gravitate.
mashed fava beans
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.
grilled chicken skewers
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.