Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times
Chameau's duck bestila
Bestila, the marvelous Moroccan sweet and savory pie traditionally made with pigeon, egg cooked in spices, almonds and sugar, is a great deal of work to make, so whenever I get that hankering, I head for Chameau on Fairfax in L.A. Not your typical Moroccan restaurant -- forget about belly dancers or waiters pouring warm water over your hands -- this little place is more like a bistro. But chef Adel Chagar's individual duck bestila is a thing of beauty. Instead of using phyllo dough, he goes to the trouble of making his own thin sheaves of the traditional pastry called warka, made by bouncing a ball of dough off a hot pan, leaving a thin layer of pastry behind. The filling is a wonderful savory and sweet mix of duck, eggs and toasted almonds scented with cinnamon and covered with a drift of powdered sugar. To be followed by a tagine of chicken with preserved lemons or a fragrant couscous embellished with vegetables.
Chameau, 339 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., (323) 951-0039, www.chameaurestaurant.com.
Photo: The colorful interior of Chameau.