Now Open: Acabár Replaces Dar Magreb

By Lesley Balla  |  August 8, 2013

A couple weeks ago we slipped into Acabár, a glorious new restaurant and lounge that replaces the longstanding Moroccan hideaway Dar Magreb, for a few bites. Walk through those tall gold doors, and it's dark and sexy - you really have no idea you've just hopped off of Sunset Boulevard. The grand space is pretty lavish, with a new bar in the center and a dining room and lounge flanking each side. The original zellige tilework and carved plaster columns remain, and beautifully ornate hand-painted ceilings have been added. It's so gorgeous, it could double as a movie set.

All of the separate rooms from Dar Magreb have been turned into an open den for dining and drinking. While the dining room is separate, you aren't hidden from the sights and sounds from the bar. And unlike Dar Magreb, you can now head in just for cocktails at the bar - the menu, created by Josh Goldman and Julian Cox, features things like the Sherry Cobbler (dry Amontillado sherry with seasonal fruits) and kegged cocktails like a Zombie or Chartreuse Swizzle. For food, Octavio Becerra (Palate Food + Wine) and Kevin Luzande (Playa) are creating "Spice Trail" dishes like Turkish cured salmon with caraway potato latkes and shaved Persian cumber, and whole Indochine duck served with chayote greens, roasted turnips and plum confit.

While the food we tried was good (pork belly buns topped with quail eggs, whole fried fish, ceviche), it's hard to say if the place will be taken too seriously as a dining destination, especially since the owners are bringing in DJs (KCRW's Jason Bentley was spinning the night we went), live music and other "surprises," which may or may not include some sort of Cirque du Soleil-like performers, per our waiter. Now that it's "officially" open, you can see for yourself. Acabár's hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 6 PM-2 AM.

1510 N. Stanley Ave.; 323-876-1400