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About us

A Message From
Our founder

It all started with my love affair with herbs and spices which begun at the young age of 15 years old when I worked at a neighborhood spice factory in Beirut, Lebanon during my summer vacation. It was working in that environment where I absorbed the art and the power of the relationship exchange between the earthy elements and each of their individually unique powers over the senses. Our Mediterranean cuisine goes back several thousand years of gastronomical evolution that has influenced modern cuisine as we know it today. With each civilization adding their own flavor of life. With the use of spices, ingredients and cooking techniques that started with the Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Romans and Ottomans.
At Open Sesame it all begins with a our love to serve our guests a cuisine that has been created from scratch with heart and passion to nourish and revive the memories to the spices that I cherish so fondly from my own recollections.We are transformed from the nourishment and life force that's in the food we eat, it is essentially who we become and with this knowledge I have never compromised the quality and the time needed to pour all that into our food.
Open Sesame has been serving guests since 1999 with the commitment to share my love and the history of our gastronomical evolution. With this commitment we look forward to welcoming you back time and time again.



 

Ali Kobeissi 

Menu

In Lebanon to eat is to feast and in doing so we evoke a celebration. The idea is to share, so start with the basic... A Mezza of Hummus, Kibbi, Fried Potatoes and Tabouleh. Let the bread act as your utensil with which to eat. Use it to scoop up the food... SAHTEIN!


Los Angeles Dine-In Menu

Long Beach Dine-In Menu

Locations / Reservations


New and Exciting

NOW OPEN 

 

Serving all of your favorites in a New Remodeled
State of the Art Food Court in Del Amo Fashion Mall

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LONG BEACH

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LOS ANGELES

Catering Menu

Catering

OpenSesame can help customize and cater formal events such as weddings, birthdays, showers and graduations. We offer several menu options that can accommodate any budget, along with staffing options to help make your event a memorable, hassle free experience

 

For more information please contact us or email: catering.opensesamegrill@gmail.com

Catering menu

Order Online

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LONG BEACH

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LOS ANGELES

Press

Restaurateur Ali Kobeissi brought Lebanon with him to Long Beach when he opened Open Sesame in Belmont Shore. Now, he’s celebrating 15 years in business.

“I don’t give out my recipes,” Kobeissi, 46, said. “They are all personal, from my family with my own little flavor. … And, I import spices from the spice factory where I worked when I was 15 years old; it was a block away from my family’s home, and my old boss still works there. I have a lot of memories there.”

Besides importing spices, Kobeissi also imports pickles and oils so that the dishes are as authentic as possible. The food is made from scratch, fresh and the popularity of Open Sesame, he said, has created an awareness in Long Beach about Lebanese food.

 

“We’ve had a lot of restaurants open on Second Street since I opened, and I take that as a compliment — it’s flattering,” he said. “This was really one of the first, authentic specialized kitchens in Belmont Shore. I think Open Sesame helped people see the potential on the street and created a buzz.”

Kobeissi lives in Belmont Shore and walks to work each day, a routine that gives him a unique perspective on what the neighborhood wants from its restaurants. That’s part of what he believes has kept Open Sesame relevant.

 

“Ninety percent of our customers are regulars, some eat here twice a day,” he said. “We know their names and their family’s names. It’s a part of their life and part of their diet. … I love it when I hear that Open Sesame is someone’s favorite restaurant.”

Although Open Sesame has expanded twice since it opened, now occupying several storefronts on the north side of Second Street near Corona Avenue, there often are people waiting in line for a table during peak hours.

That popularity is part of the reason why Kobeissi opened another Open Sesame restaurant in October 2013 in West Hollywood. He said that restaurant, which shares the same menu and aromatic spices, has been performing well too. The most popular dish at both locations is the Tawook (or chicken kabob).

 

 

“We have the right combination of food and price point and atmosphere,” he said, adding that many of the Shore restaurants’ 100 employees have been with the company for many years now and are part of what makes it all a success.

The restaurant owner himself continues to take annual trips back to Lebanon whenever possible. He left the country to escape war, but said his parents and siblings are still there and stay in touch through social media and the Internet.

When his mother visited from Lebanon for the first time, she saw the restaurant and was at a loss for words: “She looked at me and kissed me. My family is happy and proud.”

A true family business, Kobeissi’s three children are involved as well. Both of Kobeissi’s sons work at the restaurant and their younger sister is working at the family’s Belmont Shore shoe and clothing store next door called Sway.

In celebration of Open Sesame’s 15 years in business, Kobeissi said there might be some special promotions during the month of July. He said guests should visit www.opensesamegrill.com or the restaurant’s Facebook page for details.

Restaurateur Ali Kobeissi brought Lebanon with him to Long Beach when he opened Open Sesame in Belmont Shore. Now, he’s celebrating 15 years in business. “I don’t give out my recipes,” Kobeissi, 46, said. “They are all personal, from my family with my own little flavor. … And, I import spices from the spice factory where I worked when I was 15 years old; it ...

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NOW OPEN IN DEL AMO FASHION CENTER FOOD COURT 

OUR ROOTS
From fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, to lean meat and fish, Lebanese food epitomizes the Mediterranean diet. This diet rich in essential nutrients is widely known to enhance a healthy lifestyle! Through replacing unhealthy cooking oils with heart-healthy fats, like olive oil, Mediterranean cuisine helps prevent cardiovascular problems while also supporting weight management.


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