Carousel Restaurant Review - Fine Dining and Middle Eastern Cuisine

Carousel – “Where food meets passion and taste surpasses expectation.”

It was somewhat of an impromptu event, but the Chef and Wait Staff of Carousel Restaurant in Glendale were more than up to the challenge. The challenge: a four course meal for a party of twenty – from culinary enthusiasts to enthusiast “foodies” (like myself) - who were expecting to spend the evening dining on surf and turf. However, thanks to the fast thinking of our hostess Emanuela Cariolagian and the graciousness of Carousel Restaurant, we were treated with a delightful detour into the world of Middle Eastern Cuisine.

Silver platters of cold appetizers were waiting for us upon our arrival.

At first glance the, one dish looked to be a cabbage salad, but in fact turned out to be Fattoush Salad, a sliced cucumber salad featuring parsley, mint, onions and tomatoes blended in a light lemon dressing. Baskets of toasted pita bread accompanied bowls of Hammos and Stuffed Grape leaves were among the familiar favorites awaiting us.

Tabbuleh with cracked wheat, tomatoes and olive oil, and silver trays filled with Mediterranean Olives, pickled turnips, Lebanese White Cheese and fresh vegetables.


      The discovery of the evening among the cold appetizers was the Kebbeh Nayyeh (Chi-Kofta). Essentially Steak Tartar prepared Lebanese style, the fresh beef and cracked wheat is served flat with a salad garnish and olive oil.


Carousel’s warm appetizers provide all sorts of goods, packed with protein. Soujuk Flambe is an Armenian style sausage, served (safely) ablaze at your table. Kofta are Lebanese style beef meatballs made with wheat, pine nuts and onions. Coupled with the Kofta were Fatayer (Cheese Boreg), crispy pan fried turnovers stuffed with feta and Lebanese white cheeses.

The main course: Yogurt Kebab, seasoned beef logs served with pita bread and topped with a warm yogurt and touch of garlic. Really yummy.

Next up was Chicken Breast Kebab or Shish Tawook, boneless, skinless marinated broiled chicken. The course also featured center cut Lamb Chops with rice or bulgar pilaf.

For those who want to be good and stick to their diets - which may not include the fine sweets - Carousel Restaurant offers a beautiful spread of ripe fresh fruit for dessert.

For the rest of us not watching our waistline, dessert was an lovely assortment of subtly sweet, delicate pastries. Halaweh B’Jheben, a cream filled confection made from a blend of semolina and Lebanese cheese. Ash El Sarayya features carousel’s hand-made cream and dough, topped with crushed pistachio.  And last, but certainly not least, Ossmanlieh (Knefeh B'ashta) is another cream filled puff made with compressed string dough that was soaked in sugar. Sinful, yet very light.

 Gabriel has worked seven and a half of the eight years that the Carousel has been open in Glendale. He said enjoys working in a business that maintains such a strong atmosphere of family. He supplied us with drinks all night from the selections of red wines and Chardonnays to Carousel’s own home made lemonade (which I highly recommend). Their steeped Lebanese coffee is strong and very dark without being bitter. The Restaurant is very large with amain interior dining room including a bar, a patio area with French doors and an exterior dining area for those who wish to people watch along Brand Boulevard while dining.

If you were to visit Carousel on Friday or Saturday, there would be live entertainment including a live band and dancing. Tonight, however, there was a charming, quite, friendly atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoy my dining experience at Carousel Restaurant. For the typical meat and potatoes crowd, it is quite a culinary adventure.

Carousel Restaurant
Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine
304 Brand Boulevard (@ California Avenue)
Glendale, CA 91203

For Reservations: 818-246-7775
Banquet Catering: 818-631-0775

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