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New Restaurants

Momed Explores the Eastern Mediterranean

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Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Momed, the new Mediterranean restaurant in Beverly Hills, was lucky. It inherited a wood burning oven from the previous occupant, the Italian restaurant Rosti. And so you can have Turkish flatbreads straight from that oven with such toppings as oven-roasted wild mushrooms, akawi cheese and broccoli spigarello or with spicy soujuk sausage, red onion, piquillo peppers and halloumi cheese, or lahmajoun-style minced chicken, pistachios and oven-roasted peaches.

The name Momed is short for modern Mediterranean, but as the flat bread toppings indicate, most of the food is eastern Mediterranean. In one meal you could experience flavors of Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Greece, Tunisia and Morocco. Owner Alex Sarkissian is Armenian, born in Iran, which adds still more flavors to the mix. For more, keep reading after the jump.

click to enlarge Momed owner Alex Sarkissian at the coffee and tea bar - BARBARA HANSEN
  • Barbara Hansen
  • Momed owner Alex Sarkissian at the coffee and tea bar

The wines are just as varied. You could drink a sparkling rosé from France, a white wine from Greece, a red from Lebanon and finish with a sweet Muscat wine from the Golan Heights. And if you face the counter, you will look at jars of such seasonings as za'atar, urfa, baharat, ras al hanout and Aleppo pepper.

The chef is Matt Carpenter, chosen by Sarkissian because he is not affiliated with any of these cuisines and therefore can be objective. Carpenter's signature dish is cinnamon-spiced duck shawarma with oven dried tomatoes, fig confit and garlic wrapped in whole wheat pita.

There are lots of Mediterranean salads and dips--the avocado hummus is a standout--Among the mezze, try baleela, warm chickpeas that are crisp on the outside but soft in the center, served with toasted pine nuts, preserved lemon and brown butter.

The coffee and tea bar at the back offers Turkish and Intelligentsia coffees and teas such as Egyptian citrus chamomile and Moroccan mint and rose petal. The baked goods counter next to it displays giant pistachio rosewater meringues, a sour cherry, rose water and pistachio loaf cake, cardamom cookies and baklava.

The crisp, clean design in white and silvery gray fits the modern theme, no ethnic tsotchkes allowed. Open since April, Momed is a restaurant, deli and marketplace, with food for takeout and shelves of Mediterranean ingredients for sale.

Momed: 233 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; (310) 270-4444.

click to enlarge red quinoa with apricots, arugula and pistachios; orzo, fava and artichokes; Israeli cousous with roasted corn and cilantro  - BARBARA HANSEN
  • Barbara Hansen
  • red quinoa with apricots, arugula and pistachios; orzo, fava and artichokes; Israeli cousous with roasted corn and cilantro 

click to enlarge exterior of Momed - BARBARA HANSEN
  • Barbara Hansen
  • exterior of Momed

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