It’s been years since my last visit to Open Sesame and when a high-school alumni I had connected with recently at my high school reunion told me he dined there every week, and invited me to join in, I eagerly drove up to Long Beach to join him.
When I arrived, a few items were already on the table and I helped myself to the pita bread and Hummus ($5.99) with relish. The hummus is beautiful, not dry whatsoever. There is a generous drizzle of olive oil pooling in the middle of the bowl which added an even silkier texture.
I’ve eaten quite a few kibbehs in my time and the Kibbi ($7.95/2pcs) here are delicious. Stuffed with ground meat and pine nuts, these little football-like appetizers are light and moist and perfect with a dollop of cucumber yogurt dip.
Interestingly, my friend didn’t order off the menu, instead, he told the server what he wanted and items were brought out. A skewer of lamb ($10.49/8pc) consisted of cubes of grilled lamb cooked to your desired temperature and served with a parsley, onion salad seasoned with sumac.
The same sumac-infused salad comes with Kafta ($8.49/2pcs) which are very good as well (although I love the one at Jack’s Bakery even more — they are called luleh kebabs there), seasoned ground meat formed into two skewers and grilled. I slathered mine with some of the delicious yogurt dip which we ordered an extra side of ($4.99).
But what I think I loved the most was the skewer of Tawook ($7.99/5pcs). The chicken was perfectly seasoned and very moist. The best part of this dish is the garlic sauce served alongside. It is fluffy and very flavorful although I would’ve liked a stronger garlic taste.
The side of Rice ($2.99) was very tasty indeed. I normally do not like rice with raisins in it but here, the raisin did not overpower and the rice was not overly sweet. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.
I plan to join in on this weekly rendezvous once a month if I am able. Open Sesame has always delivered on the numerous occasions I’ve visited and I walk away highly satisfied with the experience every time.
5215 E 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA 90803