|You know the food is good when I forget to take pictures|
Various Locations: Marina Del Ray, Culver City, West LA
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Type: Cafe, Restaurant
Category: Lunch, Dinner, Late-Night, Take-Out
Company: Friends, Non-snotty Date, Visitors
Cost: $2.50-$15.50/plate (appetizers, mains, sides, desserts)
Quickie: Grab a casual bite in the classic "al fresco" atmosphere that won't be bothered if you traipse in some beach. Inexpensive, sub-massive portions of (possibly healthy?) Mediterranean/Lebanese food that will inevitably become your go-to when naming "restaurants that are so(bleeping)delicious."
OTC Tip: For the love of food, whatever you get make sure it includes the garlic sauce (aka TOUM, but Gaby's calls it garlic sauce so we all know what we are getting into), which is known to induce the "I'll have what she's having" neighboring-patron response.
Of the many things I'm teased for, there are certain occasions when they overlap - and eating at Gaby's is one of them. Since I don't have a reel, the written version looks something like this: "OMFG, GARLIC SAUCE" - which, deconstructed, is a) me talking loudly and b) me moaning and rolling my eyes. Yes, consider this a forewarned "Don't" - bring me, if blatant displays of gastronomic euphoria make you nauseous.
1. Tuck in to the complimentary pita and plate of "sesame/olive oil/tomato/herb - something" (called Zataar) Gaby's brings to your table before the meal. Get your money's worth!
2. Carpool if you are going to the Gaby's on Washington (just off the Venice pier). Parking sucks and/or costs $4 for a spot in the lot.
3.Get the chicken kabob plate - it never fails because the meat is always tender and tasty, and it comes with rice or fries, salad, and a spoonful of the divine garlic sauce.
1. Forget to BYOB - if you do, there is a liquor store across the street.
2. Bitch about the service. At a place where you can wear board shorts and bring your own booze, don't act like you are here to do anything other than hang and eat.
3. Skip the garlic sauce. If you plan to, then go somewhere else.
While Gaby's could definitely be considered a bit of a dive (aesthetically), it will nonetheless be on your "as a local" list of recommendations for a quick great meal - and a big fat habit waiting to happen.