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“Best Middle Eastern Food on the Planet”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Aristo Cafe

Aristo Cafe
Ranked #112 of 535 Restaurants in Torrance
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Waitstaff
Palm Springs
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best Middle Eastern Food on the Planet”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2012

We visited this quaint cafe on 8/29/12 prior to a game at the Home Depot Center, as it was less than 10 miles away. Being Middle Eastern myself, I was of course approaching this dinning experience with a discriminatory taste. EVERYTHING we ordered was amazing, from the perfectly seasoned lentil soup, to the most delicious Baklava I have EVER had.
As soon as we sat down, the waitress brought over a medium sized plate of humus, topped with some very delicious olive oil, accompanied by tiny pieces of hot Peta bread to dip it in. We started with the Fatoush salad, which is a classic Lebanese salad, consisting of finely chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and various herbs, spices, croutons, and an olive-oil based dressing. It was simply amazing. We also ordered the very spicy, but incredible sausage (soujouk), topped with some chopped tomatoes to tame its spiciness somewhat. Also very tasty. We finally ordered the lamb lule kufta, best described as "middle eastern" meatballs (actually shaped like very thick fingers, or sausage-like, rather than balls). These are typically sauteed or lightly fried (not deep), sitting on a bed of white rice, with some more humus at the corner of an elongated plate; also on the plate was some broccoli, and a very sweet piece of corn on the cob. The 7 or 8 tables there filled up pretty quickly by 6 o'clock, but there was not any sort of big wait at the door or anything like that. It was obvious that this was a small, family operation, as we saw the owner talk to a few customers, whom he appeared to know, and one of whom brought his own bottle of wine, which they chilled for him at the table. I spoke with the gentleman owner, who confirmed to me my suspicion that he was indeed Lebanese, and was quite polite. We topped the meal at the end by small cups of middle eastern coffee, as they called it, but is more popularly known as Turkish coffee: very strong, but delicious espresso-like type. As we were leaving, he opened the door for us, and we bid him goodbye. Overall, it was a great experience, and I did tell him prior to leaving that it was truly THE BEST tasting middle eastern restaurant food I have ever had. There were plenty of other typical middle eastern items on the menu apart from the above. The service was efficient, fast, and always with a smile. I simply LOVED this place.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank AMG789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A little local gem; great food at very reasonable cost and you won't leave hungry!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2012

After reading positive reviews we had to try this place for dinner. And naturally one can get fooled with just one visit. But this little place is so good we just keep coming back. Having eaten there many times now we can confidently say that if you enjoy Middle Eastern food you will love eating here. I didn't even care for lamb or humus before eating it here but I am a convert. And the baklava is heavenly. Someone in the kitchen really knows how to cook. Meats and vegetables are always done perfectly. You get a lot of food in every meal, served quickly. They do not serve alcoholic beverages but there is no charge for corkage. I have not seen the lunch menu so cannot comment on it. The restaurant is small, clean, and not fancy. All they have is great food. The restaurant is family owned and operated so they really take care of diners.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank PVRalph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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