lunch at momed in beverly hills - fantastic
i had a chance to check out momed today with some friends and really enjoyed it. the food is fresh, boldly flavored, and delicious. it is exactly as the name implies (momed is "modern" plus "mediterranean") - modern interpretations of very traditional dishes and the result has quite an authentic and yet perfectly California feel to it. the space is very clean, bright, and sleek. you walk up to the counter to order and take the number to your table for your food to be delivered. there is an assortment of bottled drinks and a coffee/dessert bar in the back as well as exotic beer and wines. there is also parking in the rear of the restaurant so don't let the heavy construction out front deter you, just go down the block, turn onto the next side street, and head north up the alley.
we had two of the pide (turkish pizza-like flatbreads from the wood burning oven), one with akawi cheese, wild mushrooms & spigarello - earthy and savory, and another with haloumi, soujuk sausage and piquillo peppers - lusty and spicy. the akawi cheese is very mild and like a mozarella, but the haloumi is seriously buttery and really shines in the saganaki, where slabs of the cheese are seared and topped with olive and tomato and presented sizzling in a cast iron skillet.
the duck shwarma on flatbread (softer and thinner than pita) was tender and redolent with spices and had just enough heat to be intriguing. the slight crunch and sweetness of the figs provide a lovely contrast. we of course had to try the hummus and it was spot on with very satisfying texture and not too heavy on the garlic like so many places. the real winner and a totally unexpected delight was the baleela - tender chickpeas bathed in brown butter and studded with pinenuts and tangy preserved lemon. we were stuffed but i kept nibbling away at the remains!
this is definitely a solid spot and i can't wait to return and try some of the delectable looking handcrafted baklawa and some more of the vegetable dishes.
Momed, 233 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; (310) 270.4444.