SERVING MOUTHWATERING EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE
Named after the Arabic word for “sharing,” West Hollywood’s Mezze offers a contemporary take on the fine style of dining centered around tantalizing small plates. With its innovative approach on Eastern Mediterranean flavors, Chef Micah Wexler’s kitchen uses local produce and ingredients on his savory dishes that consist of new and traditional favorites.
Offering an intimate, yet casual, setting, the cozy restaurant features wood from Lebanon and handcrafted tiles from Morocco. And its menu is just as daring.
“Cuisine from this region is enjoyed throughout the world and I’m inspired to create a culinary experience that is fresh and exciting but is also respectful of tradition,” says Chef Micah. “We’ve developed a menu incorporating the flavors found in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Morocco, and Turkey using the high quality local ingredients that are available to us here in Los Angeles.”
Signature plates include Wood-Oven Cornish Hen with Zatar and Natural Jus; Lamb Shoulder with Freekah, and Dukkah spice; Local Black Cod with tomatillo, cauliflower, and coriander; and Hanger Steak with charred tomato and onion sumac.
During our recent visit, we opted to sit at the bar and partake in several of the savory small plates Mezze has to offer. Since we were sitting at the bar, it only seemed natural that we first order a cocktail. The Angeleno came highly recommended from the bartender. Made with gin, aperol, orange, lemon, and bitter lemon soda, it did not disappoint. Refreshing and tasty, it lived up to its $12 price.
Starting with the Persimmon Salad, made with almonds, leeks, goat’s cheese, and house bacon, this is a wonderful California-inspired salad. It’s light and ever so tasty. The large chucks of firm persimmons gave the salad a great taste that a mere tomato could not offer.
With several flatbreads to choose from, including Smoked Sturgeon, and Merguez Sausage, we took the chef’s recommendation and ordered the Potato flatbread with young onion, and bottarga (a Mediterranean delicacy of cured fish roe). This is a great dish to share, as it’s a very generous portion. This is a filling and hearty selection that really delivers and would be perfectly paired with the Israeli Sauvignon Blanc.
Another fine and healthy option is the Brussels Sprout, prepared with a soft-boiled egg, and soujouk (a dry, spicy sausage in Turkish cuisine). Served in a skillet, this is a great dish to share and can also be a great salad substitute. It’s very zesty with a perfect touch of lemon.
If you’re looking for some meat among your sharable small plates, you can’t go wrong with the Shawarma, with brisket, Amba (a tangy mango pickle condiment popular in Middle-Eastern cuisine, particularly in Iraqi and Israeli cuisines), and house pickles. Prepared as two small sandwiches, you can share it if you’re ordering more food, or keep if for yourself and share a few of the other, larger dishes, such as the Brussels Sprout and/or flatbread.
Our last small plate selection also came from the Vegetables side of the menu. The Delicata Squash, made with dates and molasses, is sweet and almost tastes like an order of sweet potato fries, just healthier. This is also a wonderful dessert option, and great to share too.
Looking for one last cocktail, I decided to give the eclectic George Dickel Pickle a try. Prepared with George Dickel Whiskey, mustard seed, lemon, celery, and Serrano pepper, it’s potent, fiery, and definitely a required taste, which did not suit my taste buds.
Recently, Mezze, has started its dinner service on Sundays when they offer comfort food such as Matzah Ball Soup with Braised Chicken, Heirloom Radish and Chicken Cracklings; and a House-made Pastrami Sandwich on Rye Bread with House-made Mustard and House-made Pickles.
Mezze is located at 401 N La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood. Hours: Monday 6-11p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday: 12-2:30 p.m., 6-11 p.m.; Friday: 12-2:30 p.m., 6pm-1am; Saturday: 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Sunday: 6-11 p.m. Call 310-657-4103. Mezze also delivers to local area customers.