We had dinner last night at Garden of Eden for the first time. It's a small but pleasant room, though eventually they may want to do something to decorate a little more, or lower the ceiling - it felt a little empty. But it is a clear step above the kind of storefront space we were expecting.
My husband ordered cornish hen, which the waitress said would take 20 minutes -- so we split a vegetarian combination appetizer to start. I ordered the beef borek, which arrived with the appetizer.
The hummus was fine, but not my favorite (too smooth). The baba ghanouj was tasty, light smoky flavor, but smoother in texture than I prefer. Both good, and I would order again; I'm not raving, but someone with slightly different preferences might. The pita bread was very thin -- a variation on what we anticipated. Three felafel were served with the combo plate, and were overcooked, too dark and crusty, but good flavor. For me, the standout was the fattoush salad -- lettuce, tomato, cuke, parsley, very fresh, with an excellent light vinaigrette and sprinkled with sumac, which added a great flavor.
Fortunately, the borek was served on a bed of lettuce with the same dressing and vinaigrette. Maybe I was feeling salad-deprived, but it was really fresh and hit the spot.
The menu said the borek was "cooked beef in eggroll wrapper" which I assumed was just the failure to translate the actual wrapping, but no, when they arrived, I had five slender egg roll sized bureks, in eggroll wrappers. (No resemblance to Deta's.) They were well fried and not greasy at all. The meat was mildly seasoned and a little on the dry side, but good. Husband liked it more than I did; it was good, but I would order something else next time.
The cornish hen was grilled. It must have been partially cooked and set aside; there were only two other tables filled while we were there on a Friday night. It was very good, though a little on the dry side. It also came with salad (yum) and plenty of steamed white rice that was particularly good (and also sprinkled with sumac).
The waitress was friendly and attentive. We asked, and the owners are Assyrian.
We'll definitely go back to explore the menu further. There is cheese burek, and spinach burek, and something called "Potato Chops" and described as potato wrapped around seasoned cooked beef. They also have the usual kebabs and shawerma. My husband is eager to try the lamb shank.
Anyone else been here?
Garden of Eden
7156 N. California
open 7 days, 11am - 10pm
BYOB sign on the door