Mezze: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011 | 99 Restaurants | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Mezze: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011 

Thursday, Nov 10 2011
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Mezze, in the former Sona space up on La Cienega, is probably the swankest of the new upscale parlors specializing in meze, Middle Eastern small plates, with the former Zen austerity of the dining room softened by designer Waldo Fernandez, the usual fattoush and tabbouleh given a chefly twist. Micah Wexler, who cooked at Craft, is executing more or less a New American menu inflected with Arabic flavors, so the braised tripe is garnished with crisp falafel balls, the flatbreads are topped with things like merguez sausage and tomato jam, and the foie gras terrine comes with freshly made pita instead of toast points and a smear of saffron-tinted lebne, thick yogurt, where you might expect a marmalade. The wood-roasted Cornish hen? Rubbed with the spice blend za'atar. Instead of sliders, there is lamb shawarma, dressed with the Jewish-Iraqi mango salsa called amba on tiny rounds of pita. (A go with Wexler's aggressively eclectic menu can seem like a pop quiz on Middle Eastern cuisine.) Actually, Wexler, a product of local Jewish schools, has quite a few Jewish-leaning dishes on his menu: a crudo of salmon with cream cheese and rye crisps, which recalls lox and bagels; a version of the Israeli tomato-pepper stew shakshouka with sweetbreads and a yogurt foam; and "Grandma's" chopped chicken livers with challah. Is what we're seeing exploded bubbe cuisine? Not even close. But there is cheesecake, make that lebne cheesecake, for dessert. 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hlywd. (323) 657-4103, mezzela.com. Sun.-Thurs., 6 p.m.-mid.; Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, MC, V. Middle Eastern.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

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The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

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