Wednesday, July 25, 2007
5215 E 2nd St.
Billed as authenic Lebanese Cuisine, Open Sesame is one of a few Mediterranean restaurants in Long Beach. I like Open Sesame but be warned, it's a very popular restaurant. You maybe waiting up to 45 minutes for a table and parking is terrible. I got there at 6pm and by the time I was done with dinner, there were at least 10 people on the waiting list.
Pictured is the Open Seasame Combo plate, $13.99. Three of their skewer are included with this combo. Kafta, chicken tawook, and the beef kabob. Kafta is ground sirloin and lamb mixed with parsley, onions and spices. Now normally I'm not a fan of ground meat kebobs. I figured why not get real beef or chicken. But I was impressed with this combination of sirloin and lamb. Very flavorful and not dry at all. The spices they use add a nice flavor.
The chicken tawook was charbroioled marinated chicken breast. Some kebob places can overcook chicken breast and making it too dry. But Open Sesame does a great job cooking the chicken to perfection. The chicken was so juicy and tender. My favorite kebob.
My least favorite kebob was the beef. It was way too dry and chewy. They need to marinate the beef more and not overcook it. I wasn't impressed with the beef kebob at all.
The dinner plates come with basmati rice, your choice of salad, I got the open sesame salad, basically a Greek salad, and hummus. I didn't like the fact that the entire dinner comes on one plate. I love basmati rice and they give you a much smaller amount of basmati rice than other kebob places. I also didn't like the garlic sauce being placed on top of some of the rice.
Service was pretty good, though it took awhile for a server to come to the table after we were seated. But our server was friendly and attentive. She was also one of the very few servers who asked if we wanted appetizers and dessert. I can't recall the last time any server asked if I wanted an appetizer. Most servers as something like "Did you save room for dessert?" but it's very rare to be asked if I want appetizers.
I would go back to Open Sesame but I wouldn't rush to go back. I liked the chicken kebob but the interesting thing is if you order the chicken kebob, they will charge you another $1.50 for rice. I thought rice was standard. Oh well, there are many other kebob places I like better.