Hummus Hunt


#21

As you prefer Lebanese style hummus, you might not enjoy Hummus Bar and Grill as it is an Israeli restaurant.

There is a Lebanese restaurant close to me, Sunin, which might be more your style.

https://sunnin.com/westwood/


#22

I had lunch at Hasiba today and color me impressed!

The sabich was a solid rendition. There is a lot of room for improvement here, but the basics are good. My baseline is Sabich Frischman in Tel Aviv, and this was . . . not that. However, the eggplant was well-prepared and the condiments were tasty. The egg is not roasted and while the sheer number and variety of condiments are limited, this is still a tasty sandwich. I preferred the overall sandwich to the iteration at Dune because that bread at Dune is a fucking attack against all things good and right and decent in this world and the way Dune serves the sandwich makes it pretty impossible to eat as anything other than a salad.

I also tried the classic hummus with pita. To me, this is worthy hummus. The texture is perfect and the tahini levels are sufficiently high. @Haeldaur mentioned that the hummus was under seasoned. I would agree, but only slightly under seasoned for me today. Cumin was way in the background, which I prefer. This hummus just shows you how individual peoples taste are with respect to the venerated dish. I’d need to do a bang-bang with Dune to see which I like better. But Hasiba’s hummus is on a completely different level than the stuff coming out of 99.9% of the middle eastern restaurants in this city. (Bavel makes an amazing hummus, but I almost consider it out-of-bounds as a point of comparison.)

The pita is a head scratcher. And not in a bad way for me. It’s just a way different bread than traditional pita. It’s dense, chewy, hearty, with a tang of sourdough starter. I mean, it’s really tasty, actually. It’s just not like any other pita I’ve ever had. But it leagues better than the out-of-the-package pap most places warm and serve. Personally, I love it! But I love the semolina-based pita from Bavel. Total opposite ends of the spectrum, though.

So my take is get thee to Hasiba pronto.

I’ll be back soon to see if their shakshuka makes me happy.


#23

The pita, while fantastic on its own, is the perfect complement to the shakshuka.


#24

Thought the pita was great with the big flavors of the sabich as well - but maybe too flavorful for the hummus which kind of gets lost because its delicately seasoned. I did really like the texture of the Hummus though.


#25

My favorite hummus in LA is at Mini Kabob in Glendale! Tiny spot, only 2 or 3 tables, down the street from Americana. Literally mom & pop & son, really sweet people. Their family is ethnically Armenian but the parents/grandparents lived in Egypt a while iirc, so they say their recipes mix diff regional influences.

Their hummus uses a LOT more garlic than most places I’ve tried. It’s less smooth and uses less tahini than the Israeli places, which suits my tastes, but I still love Ta-eem and Hummus Bar - haven’t been to Bavel or Hasiba yet. Mini Kabob serves lavash instead of pita - the lavash isn’t bad as it’s kept soft and chewy as opposed to a lot of places that serve sad, dried out lavash.

They actually have my favorite falafel in LA too - fluffy interior with lots of herbs and garlic. In general, this place doesn’t pull any punches with garlic, and their toum/garlic sauce makes Zankou’s taste like glue.

Pic of Mini-Kabob’s Hummus and Toum from Yelp:

My close 2nd for both hummus and falafel is Joe’s Falafel near Universal City - their pita and lafa are amazing, too!

http://mini-kabob.com/
http://joesfalafel.net/


#26

That picture of mini kabob makes me want to go buy some pul biber. Does anyone know where I can purchase that?


#27

Last time I bought pul biber, I got it at A&S Market.


#28

Plant, Food & Wine on Abbott Kinney has great humus.


#29

Aside from making an amazing cauliflower and cabbage dish, Mh Zh’s hummus is wonderful, earthy and creamy, and tastes like garlic cream touched by the spirit of fresh tzatziki.


#30

I have failed myself. I have yet to eat at Mh Zh. The no reservations policy has scared me off. Is there a best day/time to go to avoid a long wait?


#31

Every time I’ve been, I have had to wait at least 20 minutes. Even on a weekday (Tue or Wed), arriving at 7 a table for 2 usually entails a 20 minute wait. I suppose if you got there early enough (like when they open at 5), it wouldn’t be a problem.


#32

I can do 20. That’s within reason.
Thanks!


#33

Good call. I’ll still probably give all these Israeli style hummus places a shot because who know, maybe it’ll grow on me. But I should certainly give Sunnin a try too; I’ve heard good things about it from others.


#34

Hi @DoubleThinker -

My vote for that would be Sunnin Lebanese Cafe on Westwood Blvd. It may have more lemon or acidity than you like - think Zankou levels. The Hummus Kawarma is tasty too, if you like beef. I can’t speak for the pita, it’s just your basic in a bag - but I love their Falafel (sans pita) for dipping in the delicious Hummus. Some have complained their Falafel was served microwaved (not my experience), so request them fresh.

P.S. Anyone feel like sharing the general location of spots you’re discussing? Thanks!

Happy Hummus Eating!


#35

Thanks for the tips! Yes, it seems that my tastes for hummus are so basic that I’m probably better off perfecting my home batch. I like my hummus without citrus but do enjoy other variations versus my purest preferences. That is disappointing regarding their bread and potentially microwaved falafel.

And I’m unsure if you’re referring to that picture I posted but sure, I’ll post the details.

The restaurant is in Dubai, UAE. It’s a small chain (3 branches) called Al Safadi. Some of my favorite hummus is served there, though to be fair, good hummus is very easy to find all over the Middle East.


#36

:slight_smile: Yah, mine have always been how I like ‘em - firm, crispy, crunchy on the outside and moist, fluffy on the inside w/balanced seasoning. But I trust people who say they’ve had otherwise. I go at lunch when it’s busier, they’re probably not sitting around.

That is a delicious picture, but posters are discussing their favorite local places with no reference to the area. It’s okay, I know, google is my friend…

Thanks!


#37

Yeah what is up with the bread at Dune? That and the comically small cardboard trays they use to serve the food are baffling missteps for a place that does everything else so well.

BTW, I didn’t actually notice a strong sourdough taste in my pita at Hasiba. Might have to try again just to confirm.


#42

Up through July 22nd 2018, my favorite shakshuka was my own, by a wide margin.

As of July 23rd 2018, my favorite shakshuka is Hasiba’s, by a wide margin.

I’m excited to try the other version of shakshuka they are slinging. Soon. Very soon.


#43

Interesting article. We should do a meet-up in Tel Aviv. :slight_smile:

In Pursuit of Perfect Hummus [Milk Street]


#44

I think that’s not going to fit into the budget any better than the proposed Hayato meet up/buy out. :wink: