Posts Tagged ‘harissa’

Eat well without breaking the bank at Yalla Mediterranean

Yalla Mediterranean falafel and steak

Yalla Mediterranean falafel and steak

Yalla Mediterranean is quickly becoming one of my go-to spots for a quick and healthy meal. For someone who loves all kinds of Mediterranean food, Yalla is the perfect option, as it offers foods inspired by Greece, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Tunisia and Egypt. Chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, falafel — you name it, Yalla Mediterranean‘s got it.

Yalla’s fast-casual set-up is kind of like Chipotle’s. You choose a preparation — a wrap, salad (including fattoush), or plate with rice, grilled vegetables or lentils, and three sides. Then you choose your protein — falafel, chicken (skewers or shawarma), steak skewers, salmon skewers or kefta skewers. There are even different wrap styles to choose from — Greek, Jerusalem street style, Moroccan and Lebanese. Doesn’t look like I’ll be running out of options anytime soon!

I’ve tried the harissa-marinated tri-tip and falafel on a plate with rice and lentils. The proteins were cooked perfectly, and the lentils were flavorful without being overpowering. The Israeli couscous and Greek potato salad sides were my favorite. I’ve also had chicken shawarma on a fattoush salad, which is a tasty low-carb option. My husband liked his ground beef and lamb kefta wrap, which he got Greek style per the restaurant’s recommendation.

Chicken shawarma on fattoush salad Yalla Mediterranean

Chicken shawarma on fattoush salad

Not only is the food at Yalla Mediterranean delicious (it’s all made to order, so that’s a definite plus), it’s also hormone-free, responsibly raised and locally sourced, according to its press release. There’s even compostable plates, cups and cutlery.

And there’s beer. And wine. And Greek frozen yogurt topped with chopped baklava. I repeat: fro-yo with baklava.

Yalla has locations in Northern and Southern California, including one in downtown Culver City, where I’ve visited a couple of times.

Perhaps the best part? For the ample amount of food you get, the mains are reasonably priced at just under $10. Healthy, tasty and economical? I’m there.

Note: A meal here was hosted.


03 2016

Churchill, Hudson celebrate anniversaries this week

Westside Negroni at The Churchill.

Westside Negroni at The Churchill. Photo by Annabelle Abouab.

On Thursday, Oct. 17, stop by The Churchill on West Third Street for a combined celebration in honor of the restaurant’s 2nd anniversary as well as The Hudson’s 4th anniversary. Starting at 10 p.m., you’ll be treated to passed appetizers from Churchill Executive Chef Michael Bryant, half-off fall cocktails from mixologist Karen Grill and sounds from KCRW’s Garth Trinidad. With Bryant and Grill behind the eats, this is sure to be a tasty affair.

Set to be on the passed-app menu:

*Ahi tuna with cucumber and harissa aioli
*Mini tacos with fresh snapper ceviche, pico de gallo and guacamole
*Beef tartare
*Roasted market veggie kabobs
*Parmesan gougères
*Angus beef sliders

Grill’s new fall cocktails will be half-off at $6 and include:

*24th 1/2 Century: scotch, Punt e Mes, cacao, fresh lemon juice
*Mezcalifornia Dreamin’: mezcal, Cointreau, sage liquer, fresh lime juice
*Westside Negroni: London Dry gin, east india sherry, Aperol, lemon zest
*Caipeira: cachaca, pear brandy, lime segments, Peychauds bitters
*High Tea: tequila, earl grey tea, rhubarb liquer, orange bitters, fresh lemon juice, soda
*Tiki-Tiki Tembo: aged rum, Cynar, pineapple juice, orgeat, lime, grated nutmeg
*Churchill Manhattan: rye whiskey, vermouth, Angostura bitters
*Lily of the Valley: gin, aloe liquer, agave rose soda, fresh lime juice

Bryant recently took over for chef Bruce Kalman, who left to start his own pickle company, and Grill has taken over for Mia Sarazen. I recently tried both Bryant’s food and Grill’s drinks (the 24th 1/2 Century was my favorite, followed closely by the Westside Negroni, which is less bitter than traditional negronis) and can attest to their quality. Should be a good time!

The Churchill
8384 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
10 p.m. to close


10 2013

A slice of the Mediterranean in West Hollywood: Mezze

Mezze offers just what you would think — small, sharable plates of Mediterranean food. And what food it is! It’s flavorful and fun, and Mezze’s location, a semi-open space with an indoor tree (you’ll just have to see for yourself), complements the menu nicely. You can almost forget that you’re on La Cienega Boulevard a stone’s throw away from the Beverly Center.

My favorite “side” dishes at a recent dinner were the beet salad with chickpeas, sheep’s milk yogurt and haloumi cheese, and the Nantes carrots with harissa and lebne yogurt cheese. Both items were well-balanced and flavorful, especially the carrots.

The more substantial dishes really impressed me; I even liked the lamb in the Hashweh Risotto, which came topped with fried lemon, and I don’t normally like lamb. The shawarma made with brisket, amba (a tangy mango condiment) and house pickles are fun and satisfying. The white bass, with sea beans, cauliflower and coriander, was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

My favorite dessert was hands-down the Date & Ameretti Parfait with mascarpone and Turkish coffee — and I don’t normally like dates, either! The mix of textures and different types of sweet, but not too sweet, flavors was surprising and delightful. I would definitely order it again.

As for the cocktails, these were more hit-or-miss for me. The Baharat Milk, with Barbancourt rum 8 year, Remy VS cognac, Baharat (spiced) milk and pistachios, was delicious though heavy, but the George Dickel Pickle, made with whiskey, mustard seed, lemon, celery, pickle and serrano pepper, was not my taste at all (though Esther of estarLA liked it). You win some, you lose some. No matter; I’ll be back for the food.

Note: This meal was hosted.


02 2012

Despite setback, still a good meal: The Mercantile

I’ve been wanting to try The Mercantile in Hollywood since it opened about five months ago, so when I saw a $20 prix fixe offered via Blackboard Eats, of course I snatched it up. Then, as is par for the food course, I went to dinner here with some foodie friends. Good times!

And not only was the company enjoyable, so was the food (save for one hiccup, but I’ll get to that later). We started with a bottle of Plan Pégau on the recommendation of our server, who was very knowledgeable about the food and drink, and it was a great recommendation.

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