Naval, one in all Los Angeles’ most fun pop-ups, serves Syrian cooking by a Circassian lens. The weekend-only restaurant-slash-backyard-party is run by brothers Armbe and Dotti Zakaria with their cousin Danny Zakaria, and operates from residence northeast of Dodger Stadium in Solano Canyon. Whereas Dottie stays residence together with his spouse and daughter full time, come Saturday and Sunday afternoons, he and his household welcome strangers wanting to pattern Syrian consolation meals of their yard.

An indication welcoming passersby into the “Historic Solano Canyon” on the prime of the hill in Naval. The squat, peach residence that holds the pop-up was initially inbuilt 1910 by a household that was later evicted when the Metropolis of Los Angeles used eminent area to make room for 10,000 public housing items. Surviving demolition the home was moved to Solano Canyon and stands as one of many few relics from that period. When the general public housing scheme fell out of favor with the general public within the Fifties, the razed land tracts that make up the communities of La Loma, Bishop and Palo Verde had been changed by Brooklyn Dodgers proprietor Walter O’Malley to construct the brand new West Coast of the crew. was bought to. Stadium. “A few of my neighbors nonetheless name it [area] La Loma,” Dotti says.

The pop-up’s five-item menu is hand-written and posted subsequent to a makeshift service window that the brothers tailored from the wood fence behind the home. Since opening for enterprise, Danny, Armbe and Dotti are most excited to introduce diners to fateh, a well-liked Syrian breakfast that the household refers to as “tisieh.” Chickpeas, pita chips, sliced ​​almonds, and parsley topped with a combination of yogurt and hummus are eaten with a spoon with a drizzle of sizzling oil, despite the fact that it appears to be like like a dip. Diners can combine up fattening substances and nibble on pickles and chili for additional pop.

A man behind a fence is taking a customer's order at the Narwhal pop-up.

Danny Zakaria taking a buyer’s order.

Nawal, which interprets to “present” in Arabic, is the identify of the mom of armabe and doti, the first supply of pop-up dishes. Preliminary suggestions from neighbors and clients has been largely optimistic, with even their moms taking them as a right – an excellent signal for the brothers who refuse to eat Syrian meals anyplace of their residence. Huh. The brothers grew up in Anaheim, across the nook from the newly anointed Little Arab District on Brookhurst, the place they nonetheless personal and function a two-decade-old customized millwork enterprise. His father left Syria in 1970 and moved to New Jersey, the place his mom labored with him in 1972; The household settled in California in 1978. Whereas his dad and mom immigrated to America from Syria, they contemplate themselves descendants of Circassian peoples who’re initially from the North Caucasus and had been displaced by genocide within the 1800s in Anatolia, components of contemporary Russia, all through the Levant, and Afterwards.

As Naval features momentum, the trio plan to discover extra of the culinary arts that embrace their finer identities. Their objective is to supply dishes that symbolize the complexity of their heritage to raised serve the 300 or extra Circassian households in Los Angeles and Orange County. A latest Instagram put up on Naval’s account indicated that Haliva, a fried potato or Circassian cheese merchandise, might quickly seem on the weekend lineup. It solicited feedback from native Circassians keen to construct caravans and purchase uncommon delicacies in bulk as they change into accessible.

The menu just lately expanded to incorporate a suzouk wrap – a ready-to-eat adaptation of a well-liked Syrian sandwich. It consists of rectangular cuts of beef sausage marinated with fried Nabulsi cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and parsley which are bundled into Turkish flatbread. In August, the trio additionally launched a McAdus sandwich – oil-fermented eggplant filled with crushed walnuts and crimson bell pepper tucked right into a baguette. All breads served at Naval are sourced from bakeries in Anaheim as the standard is unmatched.

A slice of baked flatbread smeared with thickened yogurt, blanketed with za'atar and dried mint, and topped with a choice of sujouk or basturma in narwhal.

Labneh crisp.

Syrian sandwich with spicy beef sausage with fried Nabulsi cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and parsley in Turkish flatbread at Narwal.

Souk wrap.

A trio of recipes from Narwhal Pop-Up.

A trio of recipes from Narwhal Pop-Up.

There are three choices for vegetarian fluff, every made with completely different variations of entire or blended fava beans, lemon juice, tahini, herbs, garlic, olive oil, and extra. The pop-up’s newest hit is labneh crisps, a slice of baked flatbread smeared with thick yogurt, blanketed with za’atar and dried mint, and topped with the likes of sujouk or basturma. Kurkure will be made vegetarian with out including meat.

Whereas the brothers and their cousins ​​have been dreaming a few tasting menu in latest weeks—their eyes gleam as they describe an intimate, omakase-like expertise—will probably be so long as the trio take their sea legs. and make the imaginative and prescient a actuality. Nonetheless, Naval is contemplating increasing its hours of operation to incorporate Friday evenings after the Dodgers season ends. For now, the entire of Los Angeles is invited to Zakaria’s yard in Solano Canyon for a style of the household’s ever-evolving meals traditions.

The Naval is open on Saturdays and Sundays from midday to 4 p.m. or till bought out. the inspection instagram For the most recent menus and hours of operation.

Narwhal's Armbe, Dotti and Danny Zakaria.

Left to proper: Dotti, Danny, and Armbe run the Zakaria Narwal pop-up collectively.

Wonho Frank Lee

Inside view of the yard at Solano Canyon.

Brief menu and daily specials posted on the fence.

Menu posted on the fence.

A man serving customers from behind the fence at the Narwhal pop-up.

Danny Zakaria serving clients from behind the fence.

The restaurant-slash-backyard-party operates from a home northeast of Dodger Stadium in Solano Canyon.

The restaurant-slash-backyard-party operates from a house northeast of Dodger Stadium in Solano Canyon.

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