>> Aljibani Halal Meat Co. | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 27 May 2022

Aljibani Halal Meat Co.

LIBYA 🇱🇾
Golden Springs Drive facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: This is a fully open market with a steam table and kitchen within. A couple tables are outside for eating, but most business is takeout.

While Libya might not be the nation that comes to mind first when someone puts "Mediterranean Food" on their menu or awning, there may be no place with more claim to the moniker. The traditions of countries all around this body of water, the rest of North Africa, and Berber cuisines are all found in the common foods Libyans eat daily. Traveling in Libya surprises many guests by the amount of pasta that is involved, a consequence of a long painful history of colonization by Italy.

If you ask the owner or chef what the food cooked here at this halal meat market by the 57/60 interchange in Diamond Bar is, both of them will tell you simply: Mediterranean. The only hint of more specificity is the small faded flag that is placed above the register, the red, black, and green horizontal stripes of the flag of Libya. In addition, they are quick to point out that they also cater to all area Muslims by providing Pakistani biryani, halal rotisserie chickens, and many other dishes including a range of meze.

Two lamb combo plates

Make sure to upgrade to combo platters so that you can get some sides with your order, including sharmoola (above, top right), a cucumber salad with finely diced vegetables. Note that the serrano peppers diced up in the spicy version are larger than the rest of its parts, allowing people to fish them out if undesired. They also make a workaday hummus and minty, cucumber-y yogurt sauce that goes very well with the meaty rice platters.

Many of the offerings available daily are laid down in the steam table (call ahead if you want freshly fried falafel which take about 15 minutes), which also has some South Asian curries and pan-Mediterranean shawarmas. The tray that stands out the most is definitely the lamb shank ($9.99 for platter, below), which you almost feel like a thief taking from the restaurant at this price.

Lamb shank

This is not seasoned so much, allowing you to enjoy all the lamb flavor with the option of combining some of the sides and/or the flavorful rice that is full of ladled in lamb drippings. The meat is perfectly tender but not overly cooked into mush. Bites with both the yogurt and garlicky hummus are nice to alternate between.

If you want more of the flavor taken care of for you but still want lamb, try the lamb stew ($7.99 for platter, below). This can be enjoyed on its own or spiked with the spicy sharmoola. Instead of a shank, the stew uses lamb ribs, again cooked just right and perfectly tender without being overcooked. It is always fascinating when chefs can produce such top quality foods for steam tables without something suffering from being out and hot for longer than dishes cooked to order. Halal and non-halal eaters should seek out Aljibani when quick and delicious lunches are needed in the area.

Lamb stew

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