Middle Eastern Food Movement
Considering the strong contingent of Middle Eastern communities in L.A., it’s surprising that it took so long for fine dining to capitalize on the region's robust flavors and spices. Regardless of the timing, we’re happy it’s here. At Jaffa (Beverly Grove and Palms, 323.433.4978), you’ll find Israeli cuisine that will transport you to the vibrant destination at the top of every culinary traveler’s list: Tel Aviv. At Botanica (Silver Lake, 323.522.6106) and Mh Zh (Silver Lake, @mhzh.la), bright herbs and yogurt bring dishes to life. And at Bavel (DTLA, 213.232.4966), the chefs behind Bestia bring flavors from Egypt to Turkey and beyond.
At first blush, L.A. may look like a carb-shy city, but a closer look reveals that Angelenos are obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for our uncanny amount of market produce and artisan goods. Nuanced regional offerings at Nancy Silverton’s Roman-style Triple Beam Pizza (Highland Park, 323.545.3534) and Il Romanista (El Segundo, 310.616.3111), and new Neapolitan pies at Pizzana (Brentwood, 310.481.7108) and Cosa Buona (Echo Park, 213.908.5211) are not only setting a new standard, but garnering massive wait times.
The stripped-back dining of the recession era is over, and eating out is now as much about the food and service as it is the entertainment. On Monday nights at Sushi I Bar (Encino, 818.876.0818), bartenders perform magic tricks with a cocktail in hand, while a psychic roams the exclusive, reservations-only Henry Room at Employees Only (West Hollywood, 323.536.9045), giving readings and reiki. And at Michael’s (Santa Monica, 310.451.0843), a stylish new gallery space just opened above the dining room. Consider date night sorted.