Bavel, in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Ori and Genevieve have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with.
Ori and Genevieve were both born in the Los Angeles area – Genevieve was raised in Southern California, while Ori and his family moved to Israel where he spent his formative years.
Ori grew up traveling with his family and was exposed to fine dining across the globe, but it wasn’t until his year-long stay in South America, where he realized his passion for cooking. Genevieve is a self-taught pastry chef who started baking out of necessity to satisfy her sweet tooth. At the time, she was studying to be a classical French horn player.
In 2001, Ori returned to Los Angeles. He landed his first kitchen job at an Israeli cafe, before working at La Terza—the restaurant where Ori and Genevieve, who was a hostess, met for the first time. From there, Ori spent time in the kitchens of Pizzeria Mozza, All’ Angelo, and under chef Gino Angelini at Angelini Osteria, where he worked for four years as chef de cuisine.
In 2012, Ori and Genevieve pursued their dream of opening their first restaurant, Bestia and in 2018 their second restaurant, Bavel. With a background in the field of interior design, Genevieve played a key role in the design of both restaurants. When not in the kitchen, Ori and Genevieve can be found spending time with their daughter, Saffron.