LA in a New Mood

September 30, 2018

I loved everything I ate at Bavel, the hot new Mediterranean restaurant in downtown LA, but this malawach is the dish that floats through my dreams.  I wish I were eating that flaky layered bread right now, even without the dill-flecked creme fraiche, the grated tomato or the slightly sticky delight of that egg. The bread – an ancient Yemeni way with dough, is pure pleasure.

But so is almost everything about this large, light airy restaurant with the plants dripping down from the tall ceilings. Is it noisy? Very. But you soon forget the surrounding babble as you revel in the sheer delight of the food.

Hummus with duck n’duja. These flavors haven’t played together before, but they certainly get along well. Alongside, this adorable little puff of pita.

Z’atar -flecked farmers cheese

served with this solid square of buckwheat bread

Tiny okra, cooked so that even people who think they hate this sometimes slimy vegetable, suddenly don’t.

A perfect late-summer salad combines tiny tomatoes, plums and purslane in a mad swirl of sweet, tart and crunch.

Lamb tartare with burnt onion creme fraiche gave me an entirely new perspective on raw lamb.

And lamb neck, folded into schwarma with a host of vegetables, is the perfect showcase for this tender chunk of meat.

And finally, what might be the most seductive ice cream I’ve ever encountered.  Persian mulberries!

 

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