We jsut got back. Hummus bar has sort of changed a bit, but it is for the better.
We went tonight, and brought a bottle of good wine. There never has been corkage at Hummus Bar. The new owner added more meat to the menu. now one can get kebabs, shawerma , grilled fish and more The huge plates of hummus have been downszed, but so much goodness has been added!
We waked in before sundown on a Saturday, so it wasn;t too full. 15 minutes later, the sun was down and Hummus Bar and Grill was packed.
As we walked in, we saw the guy whose sole job is to shape and cook and put out huge flatbread after flatbread. Now, bread is free and all you can eat as he puts it out. He was making bread under a chalkboard of daily specials. This time they had lentil soup, griled tilapia, grilled whole sea bream, Sweet Breads, goose pate, and other yummy special. This is in addition to the regular menu.
As soon as we sat, three little bowls hit the table-pickles and olives, a sort of sweet tomato salsa thing and the most amazin warm garbanzo beans in oil with fresh tahini. We ordered an Isreali Salad, two pates of hummus-one with tahini and oil ad one with pine nuts (smaller, now, remember). then we went with the waitress' auggestion of the mixed salads for two. Five bucks a person, a selection of the fresh salads with free refills on whatever you want.
Hot flatbread arrived-bubbly, soft on the egdes and crisp in the thin bits. we used it to scoop up the garbonzos and salsa stuf. Not five inutes after ordering, out came our isreali salad the hummus and the assorted salads. I couldn't believe my eyes! The isreali salad is a largish bowl of chopped onions, cucumbers, cilantro, tomatoes and other goodness. the hummus may not be the huge platters of the past, but it is so rich and creamy, with tahini pooled with oil in the center....but the assorted salads! My god, it was like an ethiopian combo platter or your wildest dream of panchan. I remember:
eggplant sauteed with oil-creamy and delicious one of my favorites
a subtly smoky beet salad
super minty tabouli
a corn succotash of some sort
chopped liver (chicken)
a roasted cauliflower salad
tomatoes and basil in oil
roasted red pepper
something similar to guacamole
Little bowls, but every time we emptied one, they brought us a fresh bowl. It seemed to e one guys job behind the bar to just full bowls of salad. he and the bread man were moving all night!
The isreali salad was clean tasting, fresh and refreshing all at once, topped but not overpowered by its dressing, easy to split between two-with other food, four.
The assorted salad thing is just $5 a person! $5! I think the whole table has to have it, I'm not sure. but, my God $5!!!! With free refills.
With all that, the isreali salad ,our two hummuses, endless flatbread (we had to cry uncle, or they would have kept bringing us huge flatbread the size or a serving platter) bowls that magically kept refilling and wine with no corkage.
Lovely huge platters of fish and meat kept gliding by, with sides of fries or steamed veggies or more. A few delectable looking desserts also kept catching my eye-but we were both stuffed!
All this, Isreali salad, 2 hummuses and the assorted salads ended up costing us, after tax before tip $30. Had we just gotten the assorted salads, around $12-$14, I imagine.
I have to go back soon to try the fish!
Hummus Bar and Grill
18743 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356