Have you ever Facebook shared a link of a big restaurant opening up? Or tagged a friend on Instagram because a picture of a salad looked nice? You’ve just fueled the restaurant PR machine - the rat race of hyping restaurants based off of pretty photos and well-known names, not whether or not the food is any good. As long as they got you to rush over and claim an opinion before your Instagrenemies did, it’s a job well done.
But there’s a new restaurant doing things differently. Its name is Mh Zh, and it needs zero manufactured buzz to get people excited.
Mh Zh is a small, vegetable-based, Israeli/Mediterranean restaurant on a quiet corner in Sunset Junction. Nobody really knew it was coming, it just opened one day with no signage, no website, and not even a working phone for the first week. Call it all a bit suspect, but the Mh Zh crew knew exactly what they were doing - and they knew the space, the food, and overall atmosphere they created would do the talking. And it has.
If vegetable-based, Israeli/Mediterranean food sounds familiar, it’s because every new restaurant in LA is cooking it. The difference is Mh Zh is Mediterranean food that’s not meant for people on diets. Can it be healthy? Absolutely. It just doesn’t taste like it. The lamb ragoooo arrives almost as a tahini stew and is the kind of rich, soul-curing dish our broken selves could use weekly. There’s a plate of peas on a giant bed of thick stracciatella cheese, grilled beets covered in roasted hazelnuts, and an entire head of roasted cauliflower drizzled in some sort of magic sauce (olive oil?) that will shake you to your core. Order whatever sounds good, because everything is - there’s simply no wrong way to approach this menu. Portions are big, prices are reasonable, and the flavors are punching you in your face from start to finish.
The space, which is almost entirely outside, is another reason you’ll want to be here regularly. There’s a tiny interior with a counter next to the open kitchen, but for all intents and purposes, Mh Zh is a sidewalk cafe. A sidewalk cafe you can take your friends, your bosses, your parents, your dates, or even a complete goddamn stranger to and have a truly fantastic evening. Nothing’s been over-analyzed here, it’s simply a restaurant run by a group of people who understand their neighborhood and how people want to eat, and have executed it perfectly. Now go run and tell your Instagrenemies that.
This is the heartiest dish on Mh Zh’s menu and you can’t leave without ordering it. It’s big enough to share, but why do that? This is your life and you need to take what’s yours.
There’s nothing insanely different going on here, except that it’s absolutely delicious and happens to arrive looking like a piece of art. And a piece of art you will promptly destroy.
Just assume a place like this knows how to do a hummus right.
Peas and cheese. That’s all this. And yet, we can’t get enough of it.
We get it. You’ve had beets at every restaurant in LA for the past year. Guess what? You’re getting them again at Mh Zh because they’re some of the best you’ll ever have.
The mayocoba is a bean and all you need to know is it’s delicous. This is sort of stew-esque like the ragoooo, but you should definitely still be ordering this, especially if you have vegetarians with you.