Chalk it up to lousy timing. When I lived in Silver Lake from 2006-2010, finding good food in the neighborhood was a struggle. Sadly, Silver Lakers were still many years away from standouts like Alimento, Night + Market Song and Trois Familia. Mh Zh is another late addition, chef-owner Conor Shemtov’s inspired Israeli restaurant on a recently dull corner.
The triangular space touts graffiti-tagged brick, six stools at a worn counter overlooking the open kitchen, and tables and chairs lined with butcher paper ringing the building. The restaurant’s only open for dinner.
Of any dish on their focused handwritten butcher paper menu, but I’ll take their high-value Branzino ($22). This flaky white fish is stuffed with lemons and baked over coals in a Josper oven, followed by a gas oven, before getting dressed with beurre blanc, tangy fried capers, and fresh thyme. Drizzle charred lemon over the branzino for more brightness.
A restaurant food preparation this good would have been unthinkable in Silver Lake during my residency, and is now just one of many signature dishes that make the hilly neighborhood such a big draw.