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X’Tiosu Kitchen brings a mix of Lebanese/Oaxacan tastes to SoCal

Falafel Falafel plate with rice, Lebanese salad, hummus, and tahini sauce.

When Lebanese immigrants began arriving in Mexico in the late 1800s, they brought with them a great gift—shawarma. In Mexico, pork supplanted lamb, tortillas replaced pitas, and the popular dish eventually became known as al pastor. 

Ignacio and Felipe Santiago

Brothers Ignacio and Felipe Santiago opened X’Tiosu Kitchen in 2017.

Since 2017, brothers Ignacio and Felipe Santiago have been offering their twist on this cultural exchange at Lebanese/Oaxacan restaurant X’Tiosu Kitchen. Raised in a small Oaxaca town, the brothers spoke only Zapotec when they came to the U.S., but they went on to work as cooks at a popular Lebanese restaurant. 

Hummus

Oaxacan hummus with whipped black beans and Oaxacan spices.

At X’Tiosu (SH-tee-oh-soo), they show off their chops with creamy hummus, mouth-puckeringly tart baba ghanoush, and perfect falafel balls. The culinary synthesis reaches its peak in their tabbouli, which replaces the bulgur with nopales, and their chorizo, which is grilled kebab-style. 

Chicken Shawarma Tacos

Cauliflower taco and chicken shawarma taco.

The unremarkable storefront hides a vertical spit stacked with juicy, spiced chicken shawarma. It makes an excellent taco heaped with house-made “arabesque salsa,” a combo of salsa verde and tahini finished with pickled turnip.

Tabbuli

Tabbouli Oaxaca with nopales, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, parsley, and citrus dressing.

Dinner Prices: Sides, $5.25–$9.25; entrées, $12–18; desserts, $2.50.

Info: Closed Mondays. 923 Forest Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033. (323) 526-8844.

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