As we reported back in October, popular Lebanese eatery Jamjar is opening a second location in the original Rangoli location in South Granville. I took a look inside the daytime-only space yesterday afternoon during FOH staff orientation. As you can see from the gallery of images below, it’s as cozy-looking as the original on Commercial Drive with a peekaboo kitchen and a frozen retail section tucked away behind a waiting wall (complete with drawbridge ledge). If all goes according to owner Fadi Eid’s plans, the day-only (to start) restaurant should softly launch tomorrow (Thursday, March 2). Here’s what I wrote about the new spot last Fall, plus a bunch of shots from yesterday. Love that enclosed patio!
One of my favourite restaurants on Commercial Drive is an intimate and authentic little Lebanese spot called Jamjar. We’ve seen it mature all the way from construction site three years ago to today, when it exudes all the confidence of an eatery ready for more. Like a lot of people I’m a big fan of their rich, creamy hummus (they always have at least three flavour options). I also dig their warm saj bread with mjadra; their minted labneh with green onions; their superb cauliflower, brushed with pomegranate molasses and fried to a golden brown. The flavours are at once bold and subtle, impactful and restrained — a real high wire act.
About 7 weeks ago owner Fadi Eid signed a deal that will – on January 10th, 2017 – land him his second space, 1488 West 11th Avenue in the South Granville neighbourhood. It’s the Rangoli location which – if I’m not mistaken – is going to be moving into the original Vij’s spot next door. It offers Eid 1,ooo sqft and 50 seats evenly split between inside and out, plus a larger kitchen than the one on The Drive, not to mention retail refrigeration/freezer space for Jamjar’s growing take home product line (eg. hummus, kibbeh, falafel, spinach pies, etc.). We can expect an expanded menu with several new additions that cleave to Lebanese tradition (moghrabieh, freekeh, mloukhieh, etc), plus family-style options like whole legs of lamb.
If you’re unfamiliar with Lebanese cuisine, it’s healthy, clean and distinct; a gustatory amalgam improved and perfected by way of diverse flavour/ingredient injections arrived and exploited over millennia. It’s the taste of the Levant, the crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean, the mixing bowl of the Romans, Phoenicians, French and Ottoman Turks, the left nut of Apicius (the Gordon Ramsay of his day). It’s definitely one of Vancouver’s culinary blind spots, so I’m really excited at the prospect of more.