DENHAM SPRINGS – After 16 years at its Aspen Square location in Denham Springs, the Great Flood of 2016 closed La Shish – Greek and Lebanese Restaurant.
But instead of being the end of business, it gave owner Kazem Amous an opportunity to spend some time perfecting his dishes – and introduce LSU to his cuisine.
“We are glad you are here to be with us, to join us,” Amous said at 7755 Magnolia Beach Road Suite B, the new home of La Shish.
Amous welcomed a gathering of friends, early diners, employees, and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 8, to a ribbon-cutting to mark La Shish’s return.
“You give us the strength to come back,” Amous said. “Our employees and customers are part of our success and give us the strength to serve good food with good service.”
After the 2016 flood, Amous said he went to LSU and took classes on food preparation and began developing his own line of food products under the La Shish label.
His first products — garlic dip, hummus, and a Grecian dressing — are available in refrigerated cases in the restaurant.
All of his products have a one-year shelf life, Amous said.
When he completed his work at LSU in July 2018, the university invited him to open a restaurant on campus.
There were no openings in the Student Union, so Amous opened a restaurant at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine that August, to serve the faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the three academic departments, vet school library, teaching hospital, and diagnostic lab.
When there is an opening in the Student Union, Amous said, he will be able to move into it.
But for now, La Shish is busy welcoming its loyal customers back for lunch and dinner in Denham Springs.
Every table is set with hummus and garlic dips and pita bread.
Booths and tables are available, with extended tables in a second room to create a banquet atmosphere. A patio area for outdoor dining is under construction.
La Shish’s menu includes appetizers such as hummus with vegetables, a falafel plate, spinach pie, and meat-stuffed grape leaves.
Salads range from feta cheese salad and fatoush salad to the La Shish Super Salad and gyro salad.
Also on the menu are shawarma and gyro plates, La Shish Kabobs, sandwiches, pasta, and broiled and seafood dinners.
The house specialties include the moussaka plate (layers of sautéed potatoes, eggplant, and ground beef topped with a creamy sauce and served with rice) and the LaShish Platter (grape leaves, kibbeh, hummus and rice with a choice of lamb, beef, or chicken shish kabob or chicken shawarma or gyros).
Amous has developed his own set of spices – guarded closely – and uses ingredients made fresh every day.
There was never any doubt La Shish would return to Denham Springs, Amous told the gathering.
“We are glad you are here to be with us, to be part of our success, to back in business,” he said. “Without you, we would not be back in business.
“We are here to help.”