I've just discovered Marouch on Santa Monica Boulevard.
I used to live off of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and one of the places that kept me alive was a Lebanese restaurant that fed me kibbeh lebanya and mouhamara once a week. In the back, I could see the older mother making the food while the sons served and welcomed.
I tell my story because I know mouhamara from NY, and this mouhamara: was on an infinite plane above, higher, transcendent mouhamara...
Which I guess I must admit means to say that I did not know mouhamara from NY at all.
I only NOW know mouhamara!
Almost glowing purple red and laden with toasted pine nuts and slivered browned almonds, the walnut and pepper paste seemed to sing with spices just beyond my ability to name.
It was so good, it was actually hard to eat a lot, almost overwhelming to the senses in a way, not just because it was rich or heavy.
Side dishes to my mouhamara: lamb kebob, the incredible bowl of makanek sausages with cinnamon and cloves, hummos, baba, tabouleh, falafel, and fool mudammas, as well as a heaping platter of golden fried sardines, eaten head and tails and bones and all, dipped in tahini.
I no longer miss Atlantic Avenue. Thank you Marouch.