You might have caught a glimpse of Anwar Jibawi when Vine was the hottest platform on the internet. His lifestyle and humour videos are still going strong on social media, as proven by his 6.54 million subscribers on YouTube, 8.5 million followers on Instagram and 1.7 million on Tik Tok. That's all. Humorist, comedian, influencer, this young 30 year old American-Palestinian is now adding a string to his bow, as he opened his first and brand new restaurant, Anwar's Kitchen, in the heart of Los Angeles.
Palestinian cuisine with a fusion twist
What do they serve at Anwar’s Kitchen? The restaurant is described on the Internet as a “Mediterranean restaurant”: the dishes are a perfect combination of traditional Palestinian and Oriental cuisine, with a touch of American and Mexican street food. Whether you like falafel, pita bread and hummus, or tacos and jalapenos, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the simple but diverse menu. The prices are also very decent for a decent quantity.
And on Google, the reviews are going strong. Some dedicated and committed customers are sharing their entire experience: staff and customer service, prices, location hygiene and of course the quality of the food!
The restaurant scores 5 stars, which is quite impressive. But, real food connoisseurs or super fans? The question is understandable for a world as demanding as that of gastronomy.
While the restaurant seems to have everyone on board, the young man admits that many people were and still are sceptical about the quality, questioning the legitimacy and competence of an Influencer in the culinary world.
But Anwar is determined not to let this get in the way and says that he is obviously concerned about quality, which is why he would like to open more restaurants around Los Angeles, so that he can keep a close eye on his business.
Needless to say, everything is halal certified. In this regard, Anwar is proud that more and more celebrities are coming from the Middle East and sharing this part of their culture, which is already widely appreciated around the world. According to him, this restaurant is a great way to preserve and pass on his heritage, which he calls ‘a little taste of home‘ (pun intended).
A family business
The concept of Anwar’s Kitchen was originally born from a series by the same name posted on Youtube by the influencer with a very special guest… his mum! Appearing frequently in his videos, she was quickly adopted by fans, who now knew where the young man got his humour from.
It was both their dream to open a restaurant together, and the pandemic was their opportunity. Amal Jibawi is a true perfectionist, and can spend hours on a dish, according to Anwar: she runs the kitchen with a master’ s hand while sharing it with their chef.
So she’s the specialist in traditional Palestinian cuisine, and he’ s a big fan of street food and fusion: they make the best team and share the tasks (even if Anwar is convinced that the fusion touch is what works best in the restaurant…)
All you have to do now is book a direct flight to LA to find out and judge if the 5 Google stars (!) are well deserved.