100 Favorite OC Dishes, #52: Knafeh at Knafeh Cafe

Perfect Palestinian Pastry!EXPAND
Perfect Palestinian Pastry!
Photo by Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly

Knafeh Cafe had been Anaheim's best-kept secret for years, nestled in a small storefront on the outreaches of the city's west side. These days, the Middle Eastern bakery is enjoying more visibility with its new location on Brookhurst Street, the main thoroughfare of Little Arabia. Better yet, owner Asem Abusir hasn't lost a step in doing what he does best: serving up slices of knafeh.

The Palestinian pastry's origins trace back to the city of Nablus, where the Nabulsi cheese that fastens the dessert from the bottom takes its name from. Knafeh Cafe bakes the noodle dough fresh daily until it comes to a crispy, auburn exterior. The dessert is warmed up with the cheese melting until becoming soft and stretchy. Crushed pistachios frame the center of each slice of knafeh and a sweet syrup is drizzled atop.

Knafeh is lifted from the pan with all the gooey glory of a pizza slice. The dessert is much more sweeter than salty, a necessary imbalance between the two flavors that works in its favor. Turkish coffee makes for the perfect companion. The bakery also serves a softer dough version for those who prefer less crunch after lunch.

Now firmly a part of Little Arabia's main stretch of storefronts, Abusir reports that business is up. He's even added a small Thrifty's ice cream stand—YUM...

Knafeh Cafe, 866 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 442-0044

The List:

53. Yakiudon Nikkei at Aji Limon 
54. Yakitori at Electric City Butcher
55. Tsukemen at Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai 
56. Ten Zaru Soba at Tanakaya 
57. Pink Cloud Sandwich at Alicia's Cookery 
58. Homemade Super Nachos at Taqueria Los Santos
59. Strawberry Banana Croissant at Cream Pan 
60. Pla Duk Phat Phet at Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant 
61. Risotto Con Burrata at Taverna 
62. Pineapple Float at Jollibee 
63. Szechuan Fries at Wok N Tandoor 
64. Banh Xeo at Quan Mii 
65. Chanko Nabe at Torizo 
66. Hamshuka from Hummus Bowl 
67. The Reuben at A Market 
68. Everything Cake from Slice Deli And Cakery 
69. Spicy Shrimp And Eggplant from Brio Tuscan Grille
70. Crawfish Mac & Cheese from The Wharf
71. Malasadas from Dough Doughs Hawaiian Cafe 
72. Salsas from Salsa Bandolera 
73. Chorizo Breakfast Bagel at Spigas Bakery and Cafe 
74. Whole Chicken Combo at Falafelo  
75. Toothpick Lamb at Sichuan Impression 
76. Hainan Chicken Rice at Baos Hog 
77. Fruit- and Ice Cream-Topped Waffles at Crave 
78. Garlic Shrimp Poke at Costco 
79. Chimichurri Fries at Piaggo on Wheels 
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice 
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion 
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill 
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House 
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi 
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor 
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen 
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade 
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana's Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead's Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin' Donuts


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