Former Leyla Chef Back in Business in Los Angeles

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Vatche Meguerdichian, the opening Leyla chef who left the downtown restaurant after he was denied a shift drink, is again selling schawerma and shish tawook in Los Angeles.

Meguerdichian’s new Sherman Oaks venture is considerably more casual than his previous southern California restaurant, which drew praise from Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Entrée prices at the counter-service joint top out at $12.

Leyla’s owners recruited Meguerdichian, an old friend, to help oversee the Lebanese restaurant’s launch. Meguerdichian initially intimated he would settle permanently in Charleston, but the partnership soured: The experienced chef complained of micromanagement. “I gave my 110 percent, but I saw that this was gonna be due sooner or later,” he said in an e-mail announcing his resignation.

After quitting his job at Leyla, Meguerdichian said he planned to focus on “catering; my hummos, baba ghannouj (and) garlic paste branding and distribution; and last but not least, my singing career that I had on hold since I came to Charleston,” although he refused to rule out an Alcazar revival.

Alcazar Fresh Mediterranean Food is located at the corner of Ventura and Van Nuys boulevards. “Please come and check us out,” Meguerdichian writes.

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