Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development



Share on Facebook  Share on X (Twitter)  Share on Pinterest  Share on LinkedIn  Share thru Email  


In the U.S., the word “kebab” has become mostly synonymous with “skewer,” even though it technically connotes versions originating in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Aba brings a California sensibility to classic Mediterranean fare, including a number of kebabs.

“Our kebabs are special because they are so simple. We use just a few ingredients: parsley, garlic, black pepper and onion,” says CJ Jacobson, chef-partner at Aba. Indeed, the restaurant prioritizes fresh, high-quality ingredients and prepares them with a light touch, allowing the food’s intrinsic properties to shine unburdened.

The chicken kefta features ground chicken, lemon and tzatziki, while the grilled chicken kebab is seasoned with zhoug and complemented by sweet peppers and a yogurt marinade. Aba also serves a seafood variation (grilled salmon) and vegetarian option (grilled cauliflower with Medjool dates, red onion, turmeric and tzatziki).

But in terms of global flair, the Lamb & Beef Kefta takes the prize, although it’s simple from an ingredient standpoint, seasoned only with lemon and olive oil and served with tzatziki. “We let the meat speak for its flavorful—and juicy—self,” Jacobson says.


About The Author


Nicole Duncan is the digital managing editor of Flavor & the Menu. She's reported on the restaurant industry for a decade, most recently as the editor of FSR magazine. In 2021, she won a Folio award for her feature on restaurant tycoon Tilman Ferttita. The following year, FSR was awarded Best Overall Issue for its May 2022 issue featuring Andrew Zimmern. She has profiled well-known chefs including Paola Velez, Fabio Viviani and Daniel Boulud, but also relishes the opportunity to spotlight under-the-radar trends and innovators.