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16935 Vanowen St. Send to Phone
The Janesian family delivers some of L.A.’s best Middle Eastern comfort food to a Van Nuys strip mall.

Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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Koko's Restaurant Review

: Chef Eli Janesian and wife Talin grew up in Aleppo, Syria, and relocated to L.A., where they eventually took over Koko’s, a Middle Eastern restaurant that dates to 1996. Koko’s occupies the corner of a Van Nuys strip mall and features brown walls, pastel green chairs and white tablecloths. Shades are typically drawn, so it can get a bit dark, but the food provides a bright counterpoint. The Janesians make everything in-house except for the pita. They’ve been known to butcher whole lamb. They also do their own pickling, including turnips, cabbage and cucumber. Start your meal in earnest with cheese boerek, flaky deep-fried pastries filled with secret cheese and parsley. If you’re lucky, they’ll have tangy Mediterranean olive salad with green olives, fresh oregano, pomegranate seeds, scallions, olive oil, lemon juice and dried ground bell pepper. Kebabs are solid, including anta kali kebab with juicy ground beef skewers and grilled pita piled with pine nuts, onion and roasted tomato. Eggplant kebab has alternating layers of smoky eggplant and thick discs of ground beef and lamb. Finish your meal with baklava littered with crushed pistachios.
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