Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Itzik Hagadol - Encino, California

OVERALL RATING: * ( 1 star out of 5)
TASTE: * ( 1 star out of 5)

Itzik Hagadol is an Israeli restaurant across the street from the Encino Town Center shopping mall. A great location for a restaurant in Encino that holds so much potential. It shares the same name as a popular middle eastern restaurant in Israel.  From their website it seems that the two restaurant are connected:

Currently this is the most expensive Middle Eastern restaurant I've eaten in the united states - and unfortunetly the price doesn't justify the experience.
Even their lunch menus are super expensive. 
An average meal is between $30 - $50 per person and when you think what you get in return - some  Hummus and a little bit of middle eastern food -you ask yourself are people crazy for agreeing to pay that price?

As for the taste:
The Hummus is mostly bland and uninspiring just like most of their salads.
That said, their Pitas are baked on the premise and are wonderful and fresh. 
Their lunch 10 salad special is a scam. It's not only expensive (about $10 per person as a main dish and about $6 for a side dish and everyone at the table is forced to pay it regardless if only one person orders it or if everyone orders it) They bring to the table those salads that are the least inspiring. They don't give Hummus, Tabulleh or any of the salads that are what people usually desire and expect when they crave for middle eastern salad.

During lunch when I was there, the place was packed which proves that perhaps some people don't mind paying a lot and getting very little. 
Nearbye there are a lot of middle eastern restaurants. One of them even advertises a full buffet meal for $9.99. So it make one wonder about the logic or rational of Hummus lovers.

Here is their address for those not caring about price or taste. 
17201 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91316
(818) 784-4080

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What the...Hummus?

After Lebanon broke the world record with the largest Hummus plate ever, it seemed that it was just a matter of time before an Israeli would try to retaliate with his own Hummus world record.
It's the middle east, after all, and everyone wants to retaliate - right?
An eye for an eye, a hummus plate for a hummus plate...

So now,, a Hummus blog reports that they themselves had decided to take the challenge and created the...
Yes you read it right - the smallest Hummus plate.
Yes. It does sound kind of bizarre, but then again perhaps not more bizarre than the largest hummus plate. Here's the official link: claims that :
"39mm hummus plate, containing 14 grams of hummus. 300 Lebanese chefs were needed to break the record for the largest hummus plate. We only needed ONE!"

Based on images on their blog it seems that the hummus plate was smaller than a quarter.  Check their website for pictures. Guess, We'll have to wait for the official Guiness confirmation to see if their claim is legit.

I'm delighted that Lebanese and Israeli's have found a positive area in which to compete.
Maybe instead of a war, they could just create a Hummus olympics. It will probably be cheaper, tastier and I'm sure the people on both sides will enjoy it more.

Go Hummus teams, go!