“Food is a something we all have in common. You can use it not only for nourishment but as a means to show support, relieve isolation or provide comfort. It’s basic – food can bring families and communities together,” says Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe owner and chef Lusy Gradzhyan.
Lusy arrived in the United States not speaking any English. She opened Lusy’s Mediterranean Café & Grill in 2006. At Lusy’s insistence, everything was from scratch. No canned ingredients, no pre-made sauces or packaged foods. Her recipes came straight from Lusy’s grandmother with her own touches.
Word-of-mouth and Internet postings began to spread about her cooking. Food critics began writing about their experiences. Reviews from LA Daily News and Westways Magazine, with four million readers, chose Lusy’s as a top pick. Yelp, the online guide for restaurants, calls Lusy’s “stellar” and rates it as among the top in Los Angeles for fresh Mediterranean cuisine.
The State of California Assembly named Lusy’s a Small Business of the Year in 2014. The City of Los Angeles presented Lusy’s with an outstanding citizen award for their support of community events. They have donated meals to community groups, schools, firefighters, and hospitals.
“In hard times, you have to focus on who and what is most important,” she said. For Gradzhyan that means taking care of her family, her employees and her customers. They are all family to her.