Carnival - Lebanese American Cuisine - 4356 Woodman Avenue - Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423
Now they say location is everything if this is how you rate an eatery then drive on by, for Carnival is located within a small strip mall without much fanfare. It is plain on the outside and has a rather primitive inside décor made to resemble that of a Middle Eastern region cafe. Table cloths and a rather nice wait staff make up for the lack of atmosphere. They offer both cold and hot appetizers ranging from the traditional Humos, Mousakaa to Falafel and stuffed grape leaves.
Soup and salads range from Greek or Arabic types which include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, radishes and olive oil and lemon dressings. You can sample a regular seasonal salad (a typical dinner salad) or try a fatoush salad with sumac and toasted pita bread and olive oil. Their special soup is lentil which was quite good when sampled. They have about 8 sandwiches to pick from including a carnival burger (beef and lamb) topped with cole slaw or a Lamb Kabab sandwich or try a Chicken kabob made from marinated chicken breast and served in a pita pocket. Broiled dishes include lamb chops, Kafta kabobs, quail or a New York steak for those who are not yet ready to try a new cuisine.
They include traditional dishes like; humos meat served with small pieces of lamb and pine nuts, Kibbeh rolls stuffed with meat and nuts or Makanek, a Lebanese sausage sautéed with lemon juice. Daily specials are offered Monday –Friday and are $9.95. They offer a children’s menu which offers a skewer of either chicken, Kafta lamb and served with French fries and a salad all served on the same plate. You can have fish if you like Shrimp or white pomfret or a salmon filet and finish with a traditional Baklava or Knafeh dessert (sweet cheese with shredded filo dough and rosewater). Of course for the chocolate lovers they also offer a Mocha cake or a chocolate mousse.
An assortment of sodas, American or Arabic coffee, hot and cold tea and wine by the glass or carafe and beer round out the menu. On parties of six of more an automatic gratuity of 18% is added to your bill. They offer take out and also cater. You can visit them on Carnivalrest.com to see the entire menu.
They offer you a complementary plate of hommus along with olives and picked turnips with pita bread to stave off your hunger, which for me only made me more anxious to sample their fare.