The Lebanese Oven offers an authenticity like no other

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The Lebanese Oven offers an authenticity like no other

Suvee Ranasinghe

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The Lebanese Oven is hands down a wonderful addition to Ventura. The restaurant is located in the “College Square” shopping center on North Ashwood Avenue. After hearing an abundance of comments about the restaurant, it was time to experience it for myself.

For such a small business, the interior of the restaurant was pleasant. The entirety of the store was extremely clean; the walls were painted nicely and the smell and hum of cooking in the back created a positive white noise for the customer.

Employees greeted me almost immediately as I pondered what to get while there were multiple other individuals waiting for their food. The eager wait was thankfully short, and the meal was quickly devoured.

Prices were well set. For a plate of falafel that included two sides, it was $10. For a friend and I to eat lunch together and leave full was $15.

 

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The two main things that we were set to try were falafel and baba ganoush. Falafel is a patty of deep fried chickpeas mixed with spices and herbs. At the Lebanese Oven, falafel was served with a mixture of salad, pickled veggies, the physical falafel and then topped with a rich cream colored sauce. Everything I ate was unique and went above and beyond my expectations in terms of flavor.

The falafel was more dry than I expected, however the sauce, which I learned was a tahini sauce, had a thick texture that added more moisture to the falafel. The sauce had a completely unique taste, but was very satisfying.

The baba ganoush was an experience in itself. It is a mixture of eggplant, spices and olive oil, and tasted like nothing I had ever tried before. The packaged Mediterranean hummus at Trader Joe’s hardly compares to this stuff. If you want the real deal, get yourself some at The Lebanese Oven.

 

 

Possibly the most surprising dish we ordered was the zaatar. The wrap was a delicious flat bread that consisted of a spice mixture (zaatar) with olives, tomato and the most unexpected ingredient, mint. The mint leaves added the slightest snap that made the wrap even better. Though I wasn’t expecting the mint at all, it created a balance with the savory flat bread.

My experience at The Lebanese Oven was overall pleasant, wonderful and with no complaints; I can hardly express the perfection of such a restaurant. The location is extremely close to school, meaning I can only imagine the influx of high school and college students who eagerly go to the spot during the day. There are high hopes that this business will succeed as it becomes one of Ventura’s newest hotspots.

What do you think?