10e in downtown L.A. has duck shawarma and za'atar pizza

Name of restaurant: 10e, named after the owner's daughter Tenny. You could also think of it as a nod to the nearby 10 Freeway.

Concept: A McDonald's-turned-Lebanese restaurant with high ceilings, two floors, ornate white molding and elaborate light fixtures that give the illusion of lamps falling from the sky. The restaurant opened just six months ago with its version of Lebanese food, including some classics (kebabs, cold and hot mezze) and some not-so-traditional dishes, including duck shawarma.


What dish represents the restaurant, and why: The duck shawarma. The shawarma is almost gray in color, heavily spiced with cumin, caraway, cardamom and nutmeg. If you didn't know it was duck, you might think it was beef. The bread is thin and chewy, almost like a tortilla -- unlike the bread served along with the dips; those are more like warm, puffy pillows. Inside the wrap, there are strips of lettuce dressed with tahini. The wrap comes with thick-cut fries topped with chopped garlic, parsley, chili peppers and a dollop of garlic sauce; and a side of tabouli. It's familiar, but not quite the original iteration.

The flatbreads are more like pizzas, with thin, cracker-like crusts. The za'atar flatbread is dressed with a mixture of za'atar and olive oil, covered in a layer of halloumi and kashkaval cheese, a few halved cherry tomatoes and some mint. This will become the vessel for any dips you may have ordered, including the muhammara or the baba ghanoush.

Who's at the next table: Men and women on their lunch breaks, talking fast and making mini sandwiches with pieces of chicken kebab and pita bread. A 40-ish woman wearing a pencil skirt sits alone at a table, sips a diet Coke and scrolls through Instagram while she eats.

Appropriate for: Lunch, dinner and large parties. There's a dining room upstairs with a bar, and you can use the lobby adjacent to the restaurant for private events. 

Service: Friendly, thoughtful and efficient. 

What you're drinking: Besides a full bar, there's a selection of Lebanese wine and Armenian beer. 

Info: 817 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, (213) 488-1096,

My favorite color is za'atar green. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_.