Shut Up and Love Me

ImageI always know the exact moment love officially strikes me clear and hard. The world actually goes silent. I can’t help but smile. My eyes light up. And most importantly, I shut up. Because in that very moment, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, I’m rendered speechless since there’s only one truth: I’m alive and I love you and I know it and that’s all there is to it.

I fell in love last year. It’s pretty hard to shut me up but then again, I think almost everyone would become as smitten as me around this man. You know those people that make you feel like the very best version of yourself? Now imagine that person but also make them an incredible cook, a fantastic writer, a brilliant designer, a true gentleman, and too handsome for anyone’s own good in a George Clooney type of way. This isn’t a romance I’m talking about. It’s even better. When you’re having a really bad day or you’ve just returned from a long out of town trip, he’ll cook an amazing dinner for you and make you coffee and talk to you about books and art. When you’re heartbroken and nothing seems to make sense, he’ll bring dark chocolate gourmet pudding and hugs to your door and make you laugh till you cry better tears. This isn’t a joke. This is the universe showing off when it introduced me to one of my best friends. I wish everyone had their own Oualid. But fortunately and unfortunately, there’s only one of this man.

ImageBut once in a while, the universe likes to share. By universe, I mean the restaurant Canele. Located on the border of Silverlake and Atwater Village, Canele features all of my favorite elements for eating out - good lighting, an open kitchen, a delicious and unfussy Mediterranean inspired menu, a dining room where you can actually hear the other person who is talking, and a small bar where you can watch your food being prepared to perfection. With the charming and talented Chef Corina Weibel (who was formerly making mouths water from the kitchens of Lucques and Campanile) at the helm, this restaurant has quickly become one of my Los Angeles go to spots for a great meal out. What makes Canele special is that it evokes a feeling of coming home and it’s honest and simple approach to delicious cooking. What makes Canele utterly endearing is that every so often on a Tuesday night, they host a “Friends Cook at Canele” guest chef night where a special 3-course prix-fixe menu is conceived and cooked by a friend with the advice and support of the chefs and staff. This Tuesday March 1st for his second guest chef appearance, my dear friend Oualid will be creating a Lebanese inspired menu.

I have a gut feeling you’ll shut up at first bite. You’ll wonder if love’s ever tasted this good before. And before you even ask, the answer is no. You can’t have him on a permanent basis. I found him first.

Canele is located at 3219 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. 323.666.7133.

For $32, the 3-course prix-fixe menu includes:

-Dipping olive oil with zaatar -Kibbe with yogurt -Labneh spun with garlic -White beans with lemon, garlic and olive oil

-Frise with wild arugula, finely chopped carrot, finely chopped beets, pine nuts, and ripe Meyer lemon pulp with a lemon dressing and a sprinkle of ground anis.

-Filet marinated in olive oil, black pepper, coriander, carob, and fresh thyme, and squeezed lemon. Then seared in hot brown butter with thyme and heavily salted butte and served with green beans

For vegetarians:
-Fatteh (garbanzo beans stewed with cumin, salt, and a bit of olive old), yogurt and pine nuts dowsed with apple vinegar and fine chopped onions

-Mascarpone spun with white wine, scotch, and raw sugar and served with ripe strawberries


Sara Mohazzebi is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been most recently been published in Esquire, Teen Vogue, and Emirates Woman magazine.