Local Favorite: Open Sesame

From the outside, Open Sesame appears to be an unassuming spot. But looks are often deceiving — as is the case with this restaurant, which is one of the most beloved eateries in Long Beach.

A labor of love by Ali Kobeissi, the restaurant's menu celebrates the Mediterranean flavors of Lebanon, his birthplace. At 15, Kobeissi began working at a neighborhood spice factory during the summers, and ever since, he has fallen deeper in love with the art of food.

Kobeissi eventually brought his entrepreneurial passion and culinary knowledge stateside, and he's been feeding Los Angeles since 1999.

A versatile menu, this hot dinner spot has options to satisfy meat, vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, and no-gluten diets. They also maintain an award-winning selection of beer and wine.

Is the family fur-baby joining you for the meal? They're welcome too!

The menu is void of bombs, but the garlic potatoes are a must-try for carb enthusiasts. And lamb fans will rejoice in the chops. For seafood lovers, tiger shrimps are something to sing about.

Most restaurants don't make it past year one, but this one has been delighting diners for over 20 years! Its longevity is a testament to its kitchen and superb service.

What Is Mediterranean Cuisine?

Open Sesame offers a Mediterranean menu that highlights Lebanese dishes and spices. If you're unfamiliar with the culinary tradition, you may be wondering: what, exactly, is Mediterranean food?

A rich gastronomic tradition, Mediterranean menus typically feature ingredients found in the Middle East, Greece, Turkey, and Italy, include pita, olives, and feta cheese. Kebabs, shawarma, hummus, and gyros are typical of the tradition as well.

About Long Beach, California

Kobeissi has two kitchens, and one is in Long Beach, California.

Long Beach is the 43rd most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Famous for its waterfront attractions, it's home to the RMS Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific. Long Beach also hosts the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Other attractions include:

  • Long Beach Museum of Art
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum
  • Carpenter Performing Arts Center
  • El Dorado Nature Center
  • Downtown shopping
  • Naples, the Venice of California
  • Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Long Beach is a fantastic place to live. It's filled with things to do, see, and taste, plus your dollar goes much further than it would in Los Angeles.

If you're in search of a delicious restaurant in Long Beach, head to Open Sesame. It's a local favorite for a reason, and your taste buds will thank you!

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