Mediterranean Garden Grill
335 W Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA, USA
www.mediterraneangardengrill… - (626) 301-0555
Mediterranean Garden Grill Monrovia Reviews
Memories of the Mediterranean Mar 19, 2008
I have always loved Mediterranean food; especially Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Lebanese, and Greek food. They are all very similar, but the names of the dishes are different.
An opportunity arose to visit one restaurant that I frequent often. Two weeks ago, while sitting with my former high school classmates; the subject of my travels came up. My former classmate Arlene stated that she loved smoking the water pipe and wanted to know if I had done that in Turkey. Yes, I have and still will smoke a nargile/hookah. My favorite is Double Apple. With this known, the other "classmates" questioned me regarding if there was a place around here where they could go and try a nargile/hookah. Of course I would know where this place is because I do frequent it often; not only for their nargile/hookah but for their food as well!
Therefore, I have the opportunity now to write this review regarding this wonderful establishment.
The owners Joe and Lucy are very kind people and when I called them several days ago regarding 10 of my friends and I were going to come over to have dinner and smoke the nargile/hooka. They were very accommodating. Joe had told me that there was already 3 parties scheduled that night for the same time with 12-15 people at each party, but they were going to fit us in without a problem.
So, Saturday night, March 15, 2008 - my former classmates and now new friends again met up at The Mediterranean Garden Grill. We had a wonderful table right in front of the so called "stage." Actually just an area of the floor cleared of tables. Every Friday and Saturday night they play live Persian music and have a belly dancer that dances amongst the audience, especially the men! The one gentleman we had with us was Pat; Arlene's husband! She took this man to our senior prom! Many, many years ago! Take a look of the photo, I think he was enjoying himself!
The gang allowed me the honor of ordering the food since they were unsure what to order. We decided to do it "family style" instead of each person ordering something and then trying to figure out how to calculate the bill. So we all started out with glasses of wine and some Arak; similar to Raki; similar to Ouzo. It smells like licorice and it's clear and you add water to it and/or ice and it becomes white. Very potent - the more water you add, the more diluted it becomes. Not for me, I stuck to my dry red wine!
I ordered a Feta cheese plate that was surrounded with fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers; Baba Ghanouj which is a barbequed eggplant and sesame paste; Grape Leaves stuffed with seasoned rice; Hummus which is whipped chick peas, sesame paste, olive oil and special seasonings; jajike - yogurt and Cucumber Salad with Garlic and Mint; Chicken Taratoor which is a pan sauteed chicken served with tahini Sauce, fresh tomatoes and parsley, dolma - grape leaves stuffed with rice and spices and of course lots of Pita bread! This was just the beginning!
The "family style" dinners came a little later; special request by me. I didn't think I could put any more food into me, but about half an hour after the last appetizer was munched on - we did ask them to go ahead and serve the meal. What were they thinking??? I was going to pop!
Out came 2 HUGE platters of mixed Kabobs (Beef, Chicken Breast and Lule (ground beef with onion seasoning mix). The Kabobs were placed on top of heaping servings of rice pilaf, grilled zucchini and whole grilled tomatoes. My favorite part is the pilaf and the tomatoes. I'm happy just eating that! After about an hour of trying to eat this meal, after all those appetizers, I could see the look on everyones face that they as well as me had way too much to eat! That did not stop us from ordering dessert though. I enjoy the baklava that they serve here - it's called the "Queen" Baklava - it's phyllo dough, honey and crushed pistachios - yummy! We ordered a dozen of those and all of us shared one plate of Ashta. I wanted my friends to try this wonderful dessert! Ashta is sheramoya fruit mixed with whipped cream and rose water, topped with crushed pistachios and honey garnished with fresh sliced Bananas...mmm mmm GOOD!!!
Now came the time to smoke the nargile/hookah - the time everyone was looking forward to trying. Two pipes, individual mouth pieces, so no one shares "cooties" hot small squares of charcoal and the pipes were ready. I was the first to get it going and the taste of the double apple tobacco was reminiscent of my time in Istanbul. I sat there silently with a quiet smile on my face. I wish I were back there right now. I miss Turkey! Everyone had a chance to try it and they all seemed to have enjoyed their Mediterranean night with me.
Five hours later we were finally able to stand up from all the food we had eaten and try to maneuver our way home. Good food, good memories, good friends equal a wonderful time! We have decided to get together every two months to try to discover new flavors here in L.A. Watch out for the next review in May - Ramona Convent Girls gone wild on food!
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