Quick Eats: Momed

Restaurant: Momed

Location: 233 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. (310) 270-4444

Date: January 31 & April 16, 2011

Cuisine: Modern Middle Eastern

Rating: Interesting, and tasty modernized Middle Eastern.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

I met a friend here for lunch. I would have to say at it’s core this place is closest to Lebanese, but everything is very modernized for the contemporary Beverly Hills crowd. That being said, it all tasted really fresh and delicious.

The Menu can be found here.

A lot of the mezza/salads are on display. As you can see, they look pretty good.

We ordered a three “salad” plate with left to right.

1. Humammara, roasted red pepper, walnut and pomegranate. Really nice rich flavor here.

2. Spicy eggplant, oven roasted eggplant with tahini and Urfa chili. Not very spicy, but great texture.

3. Tzatziki, cucumber and yogurt dip. A fine example of the type, and I like the type.

Parsnip hummus with oven-roasted wild mushrooms. The parsnips gave this hummus the texture of very light and fluffy mashed potatoes. It was pretty darn awesome though, and nicely warm.

All these dips were really sold by this most excellent warm homemade pita. This was  no “tear open the supermarket bag” pita. Soft, warm, chewy.

They call this a “pide” (traditional flatbread). Basically like a Naan crossed with a calzone or strombolli. This one is stuffed with “Ohanyan spicy soujuk sausage, red onions, piquillo peppers and akawi cheese.” I mention the strombolli because that is what this reminded me of: a really good fresh version of one of those pizza dough, pepperoni, and cheese rolls. The sausage leaked off a good amount of grease, but it was good.

The following was from a different day, April 16, 2011:


Another three salad plate, left to right:

1. Humammara, roasted red pepper, walnut and pomegranate. Really nice rich flavor here.

2. Avocado Hummus, like a cross between hummus and guacamole!

3. Tzatziki, cucumber and yogurt dip. A fine example of the type, and I like the type.


A different flatbread. Hallomi and akawi cheeses finished with Za’atar. Very nice and cheesy, with interesting and exotic flavors. Lighter than the sausage one for sure.


Yogurt-marinated chicken breast kababs with rice pilaf and marinated Persian cucumbers with chili and poppy seeds.

Akbar – Curry not so Hurry

Restaurant: Akbar

Location: 2627 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, Ca 90403. 310-586-7469

Date: January 21 and May 22, 2011

Cuisine: Indian

Rating: My favorite CTM (Chicken Tikka Masala).

ANY CHARACTER HERE

For 13 or so years Akbar has been one of my favorite Indian restaurants. Too many Indian places focus on low cost buffets of very over cooked food, but Akbar cooks everything to order — even baking their own Naan when you place the order. They are more focused on the cuisine of the Punjab (Northern India), with very good curries and kormas. You can get anything from extremely mild to blow the top of your head off. Once I had the “pepper lamb” on 5 (max heat) and my scalp sweat for hours.

The Menu can be found here.

Today they have us these spoonfuls of mushroom creme soup as an “amuse.” Much like any mushroom creme soup, but with a hint of spice — and spices.


Spinach soup, a similar but slightly different amuse on a different day.

As I was still hung over from the previous night’s massive Truffle Fest (SEE HERE), I had only a mango lassi. I love these, basically mango ice creme without the ice.


Riesling always goes well with Indian.

“Samosas. Crisp potato patty stuffed with spiced peas, served with Tamarind chutney.” These are stuffed with potato, peas, onion, flavored with curry and turmeric.  As always the sauce makes the dish — sweet and sour.

“Chicken Kati Roll. Whole wheat roti stuffed with highly spiced  diced chicken , onions and tomatoes.” These little burrito-like fellows are actually from a different meal (lunch on January 28), but I put them in because they’re damn good. Stuffed with something akin to the Chicken Tikka Masala (see below), and then coated in sweet mango sauce and a bit of Coriandrum (Latin for Cilantro) they have a sweet/spicy/tangy vibe that I love.

Akbar has an array of “pickles/chutneys” that come free. Coconut, mint, tangy, and the back one — my favorite — the pickled succotash in deadly hot oil.  I love the stuff, so much that if I ate as much as I would like, I’d feel the burn for days.

“Bhartha, tandoor roasted eggplant sautéed with tomatoes and peas.” This  is like an eggplant korma or something. It’s salty savory, with a very pleasant texture.


Cauliflower sauteed with onions and spices.

This is why I come here, and why for years we made at least one pilgrimage per week. The ”
Chicken Tikka Masala.” Chunks of tandoor grilled chicken breast in butter tomato curry. This is the best CTM I’ve had — and I’ve certainly had plenty. Not every time you come, it’s always good, but sometimes it’s great. You can tell the spices have been fresh ground, and often big chunks of cinnamon can be found. Tonight we had it mild, but I would have liked it up a notch or two.

Basmati rice, Aromatic rice infused with saffron.

“Chilean Sea bass marinated in herbs and grilled in the tandoor.” This is a relatively unusual dish, and delicious. The fish is buttery soft, and pleasantly spiced without being spicy.

Classic Naan, baked to order. Perfect to dip in the CTM sauce, or to slather with the spicy pickles.

I’ll be back.