>> Hummus Yummy | Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Hummus Yummy

ISRAEL 🇮🇱
Burbank Blvd. facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The small fast casual restaurant is open for indoor dining and has a couple tables in front as well.

By now the story of Hummus Yummy and its chef who used to run a weekend menu of all things hummus in his backyard are well known in Los Angeles and especially with the Valley's Kosher-eating communities. His passion project evolved briefly into a food truck and then onto a full restaurant at one of the busiest intersections in the Valley's most Kosher neighborhood.

Surrounded by other restaurants and businesses catering to this community, the story might seem too ordinary to keep writing about, but the hummus is even better now if that were possible. And while it may have slipped back under the media's radar, the business is constantly full of local patrons throughout the week until it closes early on Fridays for the weekend.

Full takeout order

Most of the hummus in Southern California anywhere north of Anaheim's Little Arabia that does get written about are in fancy Arts District restaurants, but workaday casual restaurants like this do not require finding a reservation weeks in advance and do just as much to satisfy a craving. And hummus is the main attraction of course, just like it is in the chef's birthplace of Tel Aviv and hometown of Haifa. Like those places, this Valley Village restaurant may be one of the only spots in town where hummus is not a side dish.

In Tel Aviv, breakfast is an essential part of life and dishes like the hummus shak'shuka plate ($14.56, above top left) would please even the most discerning Tel Avivians. A thick swirl of the restaurant's famous hummus is whipped around the exterior of a plate and an egg is cooked firm to fill the middle before overlaying the delicious shak'shuka. Get it spicy, as this adds the extra kick for this beloved tomato dish full of garlic, olive oil, onion, and paprika amongst probably another dozen spices.

Chicken shawarma

Just as the chef cared about each step he made while creating the perfect hummus, since the beginning he has used the same pita that is imported from a bakery in Isreal. It is amazing how something that has traveled such a long distance can remain so wonderful, but this bread is more comforting than a Temper-Pedic pillow. If you were ever hip to one of those semi-private backyard functions or went to the truck for lunches on hot and dry summer days in the Valley that replicate Israeli climate, you will remember these soft flavorful pita almost as much as the hummus.

If you want meat, a shawarma plate ($20.80, above) is a good option and of course comes with more hummus, as well as pita, a small Israeli salad, and fries. This is not a meat-forward restaurant, so there are no spinning spits, but the chicken has an interesting and familiar taste to it that is not normally associated with Middle Eastern preparations. After a moment, you realize it is similar to a Southeast Asian curry spice used on chicken skewers. Somehow, paired with the hummus and pita, it all works so well.

Falafel

Most of the food here is of course vegan though, and the chef goes out of his way to advertise the health benefits. The falafel ($4 for 4, $6 for 8, above) might fly more under the radar but are just as homemade and just as enjoyable and magically grease-less. So tiny that at least a small order of 4 should be part of any trip to the restaurant. Both hummus and falafel are peaceful foods that vegans and meat eaters can enjoy together without missing anything or making compromises.

The menu goes a lot further than this of course, having been expanded quite a bit when the truck was permanently parked and the much larger kitchen here could be used. More salads and an array of vegan and vegetarian sandwiches like the sabich are available, as well as many mezze. But all that should be used to surround your hummus, and the many other hummus plates that come with different preparations and/or vegetables to smother it with.

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