Olive Tree's Annual Iftar Begins

All is quiet on Brookhurst Street these days. It's Ramadan, the holy month of Islam. Muslims fast during the day (called sawm) in order to be reminded of the virtue of patience and humility, and restaurants are normally closed during the day.

At the end of each day's sawm at sunset, the fast is broken with a meal called iftar, traditionally a large meal that begins with the eating of dates. Because Ramadan is in August this year, the fast is longer than usual and the iftar will be correspondingly bigger.

Olive Tree, which is Little Arabia's gathering place, serves an
extensive iftar. This year's iftar buffet will have twenty appetizers
and seven main dishes, Ramadan-appropriate drinks and plenty of

Reservations are required, even for a single diner, because the
restaurant is small and the call for tables large; call the restaurant
at (714) 535-2878 to reserve. (Note from us: if you're not observing
Ramadan, please be flexible as to the time and eat well after sunset, to
be respectful of those who didn't get to drop into McDonald's at
lunchtime and haven't eaten since 6 a.m.)

The buffet is $20 for adults, $10 for children 10 and under. Ramadan ends at 'Id ul-Fitr on August 30; the last iftar would then be August 29.

Olive Tree (al-Zaytouna in Arabic, which gave Spanish its word for olive–aceituna–and thus its word for oil–aceite) is located at 512 S. Brookhurst St. #3, Anaheim.

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