Hummus Bar: Mix and Match Chickpea Dip in Tarzana

Israeli Restaurant Los Angeles

Hummus Bar became the main draw in Tarzana Village Shopping Center.

Hummus Bar opened in December 2006 in Tarzana Village, a strip mall in a neighborhood with a large Israeli community, specializing in the Middle Eastern garbanzo bean dip. Though it’s had a short life, Hummus Bar already produces superior food. Most of the credit should go to Ziva Ovadia, the chef and co-owner, who makes almost everything fresh daily.

At Hummus Bar, everybody’s favorite garbanzo bean dip comes with many possible toppings: tahini sauce, fava beans, sautéed mushrooms and onions, chickpeas, grilled pinenuts, jalapeno-infused tomatoes, and the poached egg and spicy tomato sauce combination known as shakshuka.

With our meal, we received a complimentary plate of sliced pickles, raw onion slices and tart green olives.

Israeli Food Los Angeles
Each table hosts pour bottles of olive oil and lemon juice, not that the food needs extra flavor.

Hummus Los Angeles
We ordered Hummus Sabich ($9.99), hummus topped with roasted eggplant, tahini sauce, thin-sliced hard-boiled egg and more parsley and olive oil. The cuts of eggplant were terrific, with almost caramelized skins.

Israeli Food Los Angeles
With the Hummus Sabich, we received a small plate of Israeli salad – diced marinated tomato and cucumber.

Israeli Food Los Angeles
Chef Ovadia makes everything fresh daily, except for the fluffy pita, which is baked at a nearby bakery and served warm in a basket, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Hummus Los Angeles
Allison and I split a blackboard special ($9.99) featuring hummus, topped with tahini sauce and three falafel balls, dusted with chopped parsley and drizzled with olive oil. The falafel featured micro-thin crusts and moist interiors…that were green. It was very good, spooned into a pocket of warm pita with tahini and hummus.

It turns out Chef Ovadia serves two kinds of falafel: “white,” which is the standard incarnation; and “green,” seasoned and colored with parsley and cilantro. Our waitress informed us that “green” is the typical Arabic preparation.

Lemonade Los Angeles
To drink, Allison ordered home made lemonade ($2.15), which was just fine. I considered tea with mint and Turkish coffee, but considering the outside temperature was in the triple-digits, I stuck with ice water.

Israeli Food Los Angeles
Since desserts are made in-house, we ordered Malabi ($2.75), a cold Summer pudding topped with rosewater and piles of chopped pistachios and finely-chopped coconut. It was very good, especially mixed together. In the Winter, they offer Sachleb, a warm pudding topped with coconut and cinnamon. They also have baklava and Bavarian cream.

Israeli hummus-focused restaurants have already attained a following in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, but have been largely absent in Los Angeles. Hopefully Ziva Ovadia will help usher a wave of these restaurants to the West Coast. Not that I think they can get much better than Hummus Bar.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

omg omg omg. i must try this place and add it to my hummus on steroids post:

Leave a Comment