I love small plates and I love sharing. This is no doubt due to my desire to always hedge my bets, diversify my portfolio and not miss out on trying anything interesting-sounding or potentially good. My wife, on the other hand, does not like to share; she prefers to order only one thing and eat it all by herself. It’s for this reason that I haven’t taken her with me to Mezze, a restaurant whose name is the Arabic term for a selection of small plates which are meant to be shared. The cuisine at Mezze can best be described as Contemporary Mediterranean or Middle Eastern Fusion, somewhat upscale and incredibly delicious. The decor at Mezze, which occupies the old Sona space on La Cienega, perfectly matches the food; warm and exotic yet modern and chic. It’s a great place to go for a special occasion or just a nice evening out with friends.
The best way to start your meal at Mezze is with a libation. Specialty cocktails include the Abdullah Palmer (gin, cachaca, black lime and Moroccan mint tea) and the George Dickel Pickle (whiskey, mustard seed, lemon, celery and serrano pepper), and there is a good wine list including wines from Israel, Lebanon and Morocco. While you’re enjoying your drink, you can select which flatbreads to order as appetizers. I recommend the Zatar with Olive Oil and the Marquez Sausage with Tomato Jam and Aleppo Pepper (it’s like a Middle Eastern pizza). In terms of small (and large) plates, Braised Moroccan Chicken Wings with Picholine Olives and Golden Raisins are excellent, as is the Lamb Shoulder with Smoked Oats and Dukkah Spice (pictured above). The Brussels Sprouts with Soft Boiled Egg and Soujouk are an absolute must-have. For dessert, make sure to get the Lebne Cheesecake with Persimmons, Ginger & Hazelnuts.
Mezze is located at 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles (Mid-City).
UPDATE: Mezze is now closed, but hopefully just temporarily. The massive construction next door has hurt their business significantly. They say they are looking to relocate soon.