In his famous classical conditioning experiment, Ivan Pavlov proved that it’s physically impossible for a Russian scientist's mouth not to water when it says the word “chickpea.” Moisten your own falafel receptacle with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of chill-haute Fertile Crescent fare at Cayenne Mediterranean Cafe located on Beverly Boulevard, except after sandstorms.
Blending rich Lebanese, Italian, French, and Moroccan flavors, Cayenne's eats make following the heart-healthy, doctor-recommended Mediterranean diet feel like cheating sans guilt, retainer fees, and repeating freshman comp. Cayenne's charming outdoor seating area is illuminated with Ottoman-esque lamps and a bright color palette ideal for framing appetizers such as spinach pies ($8) and stuffed grape leaves ($8). Behind side-swept red curtains, friends meet to lunch on the Cayenne salad with warm goat cheese, dates, and pine nuts ($12) and white pizza with feta, mushrooms, and creamy garlic ($11). At night, lights dim to twinkling and the major entrees come out to thrill and entertain. The grilled chicken breast with walnuts, garlic, and pomegranate reduction ($16) dukes it out for rule of the palates with skewers of kefta kebobs ($17) and couscous morocco with a posse of tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, and more ($16–$18).
Partners in business and hummus Sam Amad and Noura Elnasser founded a string of Mediterranean restaurants on the West Coast before buying up Cayenne Cafe from a freed genie down on his luck. Amad and Elnasser trained their staff of personable servers to ensure no glass goes unfilled and to know the menu inside and out to better assist unfamiliar patrons in finding the dish to suit their tastes. Cayenne's desserts ($6–$7), such as pistachio and walnut baklava and chocolate-drizzled citrus tiramisu, are still made by Elnasser's mother and delivered fresh every day via "the magic carpet," a 1996 teal Geo Metro.
- Very good food, great indoor/outdoor atmosphere, great prices. Loved the Ful (a fava bean, garlic,tomato,parsley) dip with pita. Greek salad excellent. No attitude waiters. – Roberto de echo park, Urbanspoon
Cayenne Cafe’s executive chef and co-owner, Noura Elnasser, crafts the restaurant’s tasty Mediterranean-American cuisine, and she does it with a little help from mom. Not only did Elnasser’s mother teach her much of her cooking methods, but her mother also bakes the desserts and cakes that perfectly wrap up Cayenne’s brunches, lunches, and dinners.
In its review of Cayenne Cafe, the Los Angeles Times said, “[L]ike a quirky friend who’s got a different take on things, Cayenne’s full of pleasant surprises.” Strings of glass globes dangle from the ceiling, and simple vases showcase single green stems. Inside or under the patio’s sprawling white parasols, patrons dine on spanakopita, salmon, and kebabs. The restaurant also whips up Angus-beef burgers, but often with a Mediterranean twist—the Zorba burger comes topped with feta cheese, cucumbers, and yogurt sauce in a pita.
7169 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90036Get Directions