199 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Everything on the menu at Dune is bursting with flavor. While so many dishes are fantastic here like the lamb, fried chicken shawarma served with house charred flatbread and spicy toum and charmoula, and anything on the menu eggplant (sabich), Dune guests are also blown away by the hummus falafel (vegan-friendly) plate. The balls are light and full of herbs, soft on the inside with a perfect crunch on the outside. Favorite sides include the crunchy cabbage, pickled beets and radish, and Dune’s creamy hummus. Dune is not new to L.A. – the original location is in Atwater Village.
7422 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
One of the best Kosher (certified by RCC) restaurants in L.A., Ta-eem Grill is popular spot for quick and delicious Israeli fare. Preparing an assortment of dishes, Ta-eem Grill serves a chicken shawarma (in a pita, on a plate or laffa-style), unlike other Mediterranean restaurants. The chicken is marinated in the kitchen’s specialty spices and cooked slowly to keep the meat juicy. Patrons also go crazy for falafel, freshly baked pita, hummus and babaganoush, and shirazi salad (tomatoes and Persian cucumbers). Like it red hot? Request Ta-eem’s spicy Israeli hot sauce.
The Redbury Hollywood
1717 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
For a trendy dinner out, Cleo in Hollywood is a top choice for Mediterranean tapas, a crafty cocktail and wine menu all while in the glamorous setting of the Redbury Hotel. It’s a great place for a quiet dinner for two (wink, wink), a special celebration or pre-gaming before going out. Start your meal with hot pita bread served in a paper bag with hummus or lebneh with feta to whet your taste buds. Order a few mezze sections like dolmades, spanakopita, spicy potatoes, the beet salad and the artichoke flatbread. Now moving onto traditional Middle Eastern meat and fish choices — you have options to satisfy everyone at the table — grilled branzino, lamb tagine or lamb shawarma, day boat scallops, Moroccan fried chicken, and moussakah, to name a few.
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Glendale, CA 91201
Adana is one of those restaurant gems you must know about. Head to Glendale for serious Southern Turkish feasting (Adana is a city in Southern Turkey). Chef Edward Khechemyan is at the helm of the kitchen who learned everything he knows about Armenian cooking from his dad. The quality of food is absolutely superb and Adana is known for its generous portions (ideal for lunch or dinner the next day). Savory and juicy, Adana’s kabob meats (beef, chicken, koobideh – beef and chicken -, salmon and lamb) are served with hummus, yogurt cucumber, pickle, barbecued tomato, and Persian salad. Vegetarians are very comfortable here. The menu appeals with mutabbul (barbecued eggplant), kashk-e- bademjan (fried eggplant), pasus dolma (made with pickled cabbage, lenitl, red kidney beans and garbanzo), dolmeh and flavorful cherry rice.Related: Every Top Restaurant You Should Be Eating At in Glendale
326 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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Locally family owned Cafe Istanbul is your best bet for an affordable quick lunch or casual dinner (late night dinner served until midnight) when you want delicious Mediterranean food, especially shawarma (check out its separate menu dedicated just to shawarma). Plates are served with hummus, rice pilaf, grilled vegetables and pita bread. Yum. Other must-try dishes include manti (small beef stuffed dumplings with a minty garlic yogurt sauce), icli kofte (aka fried kibbeh – a deep-fried ground lamb or beef patty filled with spices, onions and pine nuts), imam bayildi (fried whole eggplant stuffed with onion, tomato and garlic slowly baked) and cigar borek (phyllo dough filled with parsley, herbs and feta and mozzarella cheese). Savor your meal by sipping on a cup of fresh mint tea.
233 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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With locations in Atwater and Beverly Hills (the first), Momed is short for Modern Mediterranean. Momed serves vibrant dishes based on a fresh interpretation of a cuisine based on centuries and old traditions of seasonal and farm to table dining. You definitely need repeat visits to taste everything on the menu from pide (wood fired flatbreads) and shared plates like falafel mezze and Greek meatballs to main dishes including kabobs (lamb sirloin or chicken breast skewer), tajines (Moroccan vegetable or braised short rib). Brunch (shakshuka, cinnamon challah French toast) is extremely popular, and on Sundays, a DJ is spinning tunes. Momed also hosts happy hour Monday – Friday from 2.30-6 p.m., and Sunday 3-5 p.m.