>> Maghreb Apron | Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Maghreb Apron

Small stand with prepared foods inside market

๐Ÿ“ 10817 Venice Blvd., Palms, Westside
๐Ÿ…ฟ️ Parking lot behind store
๐Ÿฅค No Alcohol
๐ŸŒฑ Vegetarian Friendly

EDITOR'S NOTE: This new vendor does catering orders and is now popping up in the West LA International Market, where this article is based on. Please check with them for hours/locations.

For the most part, the food of the Maghreb in Los Angeles has so far been limited to some Moroccan kitchens around town, with a small sprinkling of Tunisian, Libyan, and Algerian if you look really closely. This collection of countries in Northern Africa known as al-Maghrib in Arabic, meaning the west, has its own distinct flavors taking in centuries of influence from Arab, Berber, and European Mediterranean countries across the sea.

A new Algerian-owned business has recently started popping up to offer the cuisine of this region at Venice Blvd's West LA International Market, which has served the Westside's halal eating communities for quite some time. Using the name of the region for the business rather than one country, the flavors and ingredients are also a reflection of this larger identity.

A tagine with couscous and lamb on display

For the past two weekends, the business has popped up here on Fridays and Saturdays, a small steam table with prepared foods that are assembled when customers come to order. A set menu of couscous and rice dishes is complemented by a soup and dessert that rotate from day to day. The chef also has weekly meal services and catering that you can take advantage of through social media if you love everything and need more.

The menu lists four different types of couscous available: vegetables, chicken, lamb, and something the chef calls couscous royal that combines all three with merguez. A display of couscous with lamb was sat on the counter in a tagine (above), so this seemed a natural place to start, but the kofta and rice dish as well as both daily specials were ordered to create a full meal that in reality was more than two.

A full order photographed from above

Feel free to start with dessert, which on this day was a lovely basboussa ($5, above top left), a semolina cake that is moist with syrup and spiked with orange flower water. This spongy treat will satisfy your sweet tooth while not overdoing it, the toasted almonds on top deliver the final crunch necessary to round the whole thing off.

The couscous with lamb ($23, below) itself comes with two meaty sections of shank, which have obviously been cooking elsewhere for quite some time as the meat is easily separated from the bone and very tender. A section each of cucumber, carrot, and potato have also been cooking for quite a while with the meat, and chickpeas and deliciously sweet white raisins round out the toppings for the dish. A small container of harissa will be in your takeout bag, and feel free to stir in spicy ribbons of this into your couscous for an added kick.

Couscous with vegetables and lamb

Rice and beef kofta balls

The most simple menu item is probably the rice & beef kofta balls ($18, above), but the rice is far from simple and flavored with what might be an entire spice cabinet. The beef meatballs retain a bit of the tomato sauce they come out of, and the whole meal is supremely comforting. Every grain of rice was eventually extracted from the container and enjoyed.

The soup of the day ($7, below) this past Friday was harira, a tomato-based stew thickened with flour and full of chickpeas and lentils. The flavor of onions and garlic are in every bite, and this may have the most spices possible without being even a hint spicy. Grab a portion of this if she has it, memories of eating it on travels in North Africa will come right back to you after just one taste.

Harira soup

Harira is eaten in both Morocco and Algeria, but Algerian chefs usually omit the lentils making this more of the Moroccan variety. The chef will probably tell you it is her style though, not that of any one country, as even tasting each harira at a night market will give you quite a lot of variety in recipes. Squirt in a bit of fresh lemon juice right before eating if you have it, break off a piece of bread, and enjoy every drop.

For the time being, Maghreb Apron plans to be continuing these Friday and Saturday pop-ups at the market (below), so find her in the afternoon either of those days in coming weeks. You get the sense that bigger things will come soon for her business, so this is your chance to get a taste before everyone else is crowding the future restaurant.

Venice Blvd. facade of West LA International Market
West LA International Market


Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
CASH APP: $JaredCohee
PAYPAL: (no account necessary, use link)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.