>> Moun of Tunis | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 1 February 2019

Moun of Tunis


Even on a slow night, an evening at Moun of Tunis is a very memorable one.

A meal is prepared, presented, and eaten in a traditional manner, with diners sharing dishes as they come out one by one, eating by hand, and taking things slowly as the feast is revealed. Be prepared for far too much food to arrive in front of you, necessitating multiple bags of takeout.

Pots of sweet mint tea are refilled throughout the night.

From the front door to the seats all the way in the rear, the atmosphere inside Moun of Tunis is so well done with dark colors, fabrics, and paints that reflect the mood of a night out in Tunisia's capital city. On weekends they have belly dancing. On the weeknight of this last visit, the only other group in the place was actually for a birthday and the Northern African music was turned off at one point to play a happy birthday song.

The photos here are in the order that the feast was delivered to the table.

Pita bread served with hummus, pickles, and olives.

There are a few decisions to make before your meal, the first being to choose your "feast" for the entire group to enjoy. Within that there are some varying options between soups and meat entrees that each person can cater to themselves. The meat-based options are all in the $33-35 range per person, but there is so much food that this probably will end up being at least two meals for everyone. The bread and starters above are not listed on any option but are served regardless but do not dive in too fast because so much is on its way.

Since the name of the restaurant refers to Tunis and the chef is Tunisian, do not miss the brik (below), a thin-skinned pastry beloved there that is filled with cooked egg and spices before being deep fried.

A stack of Tunisian brik.

A dish that the menu refers to simply as "salads" is actually quite interesting with an assortment of cold vegetable dips, perfect for finally eating that pita or with bites of the brochettes that would arrive a bit later.

In 2017 the restaurant turned an amazing 40 years old. As water glasses and tea pots were continuously taken care of without asking and our questions were all answered without even a hint of impatience, it was becoming clear that the service and hospitality here at Moun of Tunis was top notch. In an area oh so close to the lifeless tourist-aimed restaurants of the Hollywood stars, this feels like heaven.

And in heaven, they serve b'stilla (below). This Moroccan dish reads like a dessert, topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon, but is actually a phyllo dough-wrapped savory chicken dish. The combination of flavors is intense and thought-provoking if it is your first time to enjoy the dish, almost begging the question "Is this allowed?" Thank goodness it is.

Our group of five included one person that only eats fish, and besides her not getting to enjoy the b'stilla, no other compromises were made for the most part. Even the meat entrees are served with big sides of vegetables and couscous, while up to this point only that chicken was not for non-meat eaters.

When your group gets to about four or five people, they seem to allow you to split up entrees as well, so we were able to enjoy the tasty salmon (below) as one. If fish is not your thing either, they even have vegetarian options.

It would be hard to come here and not enjoy the lamb with artichokes (below), tender on the bone chunks of meat with a bit of zest from the vegetable and sauce. There is not a whole lot of spicing here, unnecessary because the meat is so fresh and well-cooked.

If you thought you were close to being finished, think again as that salad above is actually served with your choice of skewer; shrimp, beef, or chicken, or lamb if you prefer in the form of mรฉchoui. This plate can be seen in the foreground of the picture below, bite-size pieces of meat that have also been cooked over fire.

What a night.



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