09/30/14 — HoopLA: Momed Atwater Village

Momed (pronounced mo-med) short for modern Mediterranean, (3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater CA 90039; 323.522.3488) has expanded to Atwater Village with one of the most unique spaces and inventive menus I have seen in a long time. The large space is a mix of upscale rustic with cement floors running through out the cafe, dining and bar areas. The dining area had blonde wooden tables with matching chairs that have white clothed seats and backs and the bar area has beautiful touches like the menu written on floor to ceiling mirrors. My favorite aspect is the metal wall with ivy growing on it, where you can see the train run passed. It’s a mini Los Angeles escape.

As for the modern Mediterranean cuisine, consulting chef, Jeremy Strubel brings beautiful dishes to the table that surprise delight, and over again. We started with an array of spreads and pita. The avocado hummus is unlike anything you have tasted. It’s imaginative, savory, creamy and a perfect start to your meal. We also tried Ikra (charred eggplant, tomato, red onion and cilantro) and my other favorite the Muhammara (roasted red pepper, eggplant, walnuts and pomegranate). We ordered the Charred Artichoke, Squash Blossom Falafel, Sea Bass Crduo, Cheese & Za’atar Pide (Turkish flatbread), Duck Schawarma Bun and the Tajine of the day (We had short rib). One of my favorite dishes was the Veal Tongue Makanek that was served with melon and wrapped in cucumber. The salty and sweet was the perfect pairing and it was surprisingly refreshing. Everything was full of flavor and Strubel combined flavors you may not necessarily think of putting together, but worked incredibly well.

Overall, this spot is a great Los Angeles addition. The relaxed, open indoor/outdoor space serves up some of the best food in the city and allows for a quiet meal, with the occasional train passing…which I love.