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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Al Hamra brings Middle Eastern cuisine to central Annandale

There’s a new place in town for shish kabobs, shawarma, gyros, and other Middle Eastern specialties: Al Hamra opened July 4 at 4230 Annandale Road.  

Madiha Siddiqui behind the counter.
Al Hamra is run by Naseem Siddiqui and his family. Originally from Pakistan, Siddiqui is a long-time Annandale resident who has been commuting to California for the past 10 years or so to operate his other restaurant, Al Hamra Halal Cafe, in Redondo Beach.

He always wanted to come back to Annandale to open a restaurant and finally found the right place, says his daughter, Madiha Siddiqui, a sixth-grade teacher at Camelot Elementary School.

The old waterwheel in the corner was here when the Siddiqui's took over. 
The menu at Al Hamra is mostly Lebanese but there are some Pakistani items, as well, like chicken tika masala and the weekend special, lamb biryani. The food is halal, which means “what’s permissible,” Madiha  says. So there’s no pork or alcohol, and the meat is certified as having come from animals slaughtered a certain way.

It’s open seven days a week – 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11-midnight on Friday and Saturday.


  1. What was the restaurant before? There has got to be history to the waterwheel.

    1. It was Parrillas del Sur, a Bolivian/Argentinean restaurant.

  2. The waterwheel reminds me of the old Spaghetti Mill restaurant where McGills is now.