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. Cayenne Cafe is 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 lemony tabbouleh ($5.50) and stuffed grape leaves ($6.95). Behind side-swept red curtains, friends meet to lunch on the Cayenne salad (with warm goat cheese, dates, and pine nuts, $9.50) and white pizza (with feta, mushrooms, and creamy garlic, $9.75 for full order, $7.50 for half). 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 ($13.95) dukes it out for rule of the palates with skewers of beef kefta kebobs ($13.95) and Moroccan couscous with a posse of tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, and more ($15.95).
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 (all $5.50), such as pistachio and walnut baklava and chocolate-drizzled citrus cake, are still made by Elnasser's mother and delivered fresh every day via "the magic carpet," a 1996 teal Geo Metro.
- Cayenne is small but feisty, a neighborhood café with something for everyone but a personality all its own. It's stylish but modest, contemporary but with traditional underpinnings, eager to please but in no way formulaic. In a city where pita-and-kebab spots sometimes seem as ubiquitous as taquerías, it's got a distinctive, confident approach, with one spoon solidly in the Middle East, while the other uses such traditional ingredients as sumac, sesame and pomegranate to whip up Americanized melting-pot dishes like salads, scrambles and wraps. – Susan LaTempa, Los Angeles Times
- It’s cozy here, with burgundy-and-gold banquettes, friendly servers, and good Moroccan mint tea. There are omelettes for breakfast (from 7:30), pizzas, heated sandwiches, wraps, salads, and the like. The Middle Eastern bent is seen in the stuffed grape leaves, ful (fava beans with tomato, garlic, and olive oil), hummus, and spinach pie, and the organic coffees and teas go well with the baklava. – Los Angeles
- 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
- The food is delicious! I've been there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner--all superb! You wont be disappointed. Great salads, soup, and a variety of signature items, all made with fresh ingredients. Be sure to try the baklava for dessert! – Mandy80, Citysearch
- With a delicate, yet not-so-overwhelming hint of Morrocan [sic] flavor, Cayenne Cafe is one of the most delightful places to eat in Los Angeles! – rayrayt, Citysearch
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