Saturday, September 06, 2014

Quick Bite: Momed Puts a New Spin on Middle Eastern in Atwater

What: Momed
Where: 3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater (Atwater Crossing), 323.522.3488The challenge: Get diners to remember that the hidden-away art/industrial complex is a worthy lunch and dinner destination and compete with nearby Glendale old-school Middle Eastern spots.
Soujouk flatbread and lamb burger
The goods: Momed started out with a modern take on Mediterranean dishes from Lebanon, Israel and the like several years ago in Beverly Hills. Now it needs to convince Eastsiders that Middle Eastern doesn't just mean Zankou. Using the oven that turned out flatbreads in the space's previous incarnation, Momed puts a Levantine spin on flatbreads (called pide) and makes puffy homemade mini-pita bread.Traditional dishes like shwarma are updated into duck shwarma sliders, while tabbouleh turns into a quinoa and kale version and hummus adds avocado. Plus, there's Lebanese and craft beer and wine.
crispy squash blossoms with falafel
The look: Atwater Crossing has always looked a bit improvised, but Momed has spiffed up the space with Moroccan tiles and an  indoor dining area to complement the huge, breezy patio that's a favorite with families.
What to order: Lamb burger, eggplant ikra, soujouk flatbread
Would I return? Definitely for a beer and flatbread on the patio on warm summer evening; in winter, the restaurant plans to add curtains and heaters. I'll have to try more dishes to decide whether updated Mediterranean is just as satisfying as the dishes at Carousel, Marouch and Elena's.

(I was invited to try this restaurant)

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