Stop, Look and Linger
When you’re whizzing along McCausland, slow down a bit. Be on the lookout for Pan d’Olive, the Mediterranean/Turkish restaurant, that’s well worth a stop for lunch or dinner. The place sports a number of cozy booths, as well as a spacious parking lot—two features I find especially appealing.
Pan d’Olive’s website notes that they “celebrate Mediterranean cuisine with a California twist”—whatever that means. The menu says the place offers “a bite of Mediterranean,” which makes its location in Dogtown all the more fitting.
Mediterranean Fare and Flare
The restaurant guru, Sam Kakar, offers a number of dishes, but I always return to the Baked Cannelloni with Bolognese and Béchamel sauces. I can never pass up a few table-sharing items such as their signature Arancini. The popular Sicilian rice balls are stuffed with risotto, gorgonzola, potatoes, and ground beef and sit fetchingly in a small pond of marinara sauce.
Kakar notes: “The beauty of the Mediterranean is that so many of the ingredients are similar, no matter if you’re in Spain, Italy, Turkey or Greece. The seafood, the spices, the grains. . . it’s the combination, the emphasis, and the amounts that change, giving each region its own uniqueness and distinction.”
Have a Taste
Tried and True
The eggplant dish, Iman Bayilde, that I once enjoyed is no longer on the dinner menu. Nor could I find their namesake olive bread. But there’s still an array of appetizers, flatbreads, salads, pastas, fish and meat offerings.
It’s good to know that in the heart of Dogtown you can appease your longing for Mediterranean cuisine without the price of a plane ticket.
Pan d’Olive: 1603 McCausland Ave; Open: Mon-Fri for lunch 11a-2p with Two-Course Lunch Special: plus drink,, $13.95. Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4p-7p; Dinner: Mon-Sat until closing.