Dining

The Eat Sheet: Chef Micah Wexler On Mezze’s Jewish Christmas Eve Feast

No, you won't find any Chinese dishes: Semitic standbys like chopped chicken livers and matzoh ball soup make up the menu.

Chef Micah Wexler of Mezze -- the nine-month-old Middle-Eastern restaurant designed by Waldo Fernandez in the former Sona space along La Cienega’s Restaurant Row -- wants to do the seemingly impossible this Christmas Eve: get L.A.’s Jews interested in eating their own ethnic cuisine instead of Chinese.

Wexler’s one-night-only menu sees wild salmon followed by the chef’s interpretation of chopped chicken livers with grape mostarda and challah. Then comes smoked sablefish with pickled shallots, lebne and capers. Rounding things out are matzoh ball soup, pastrami on rye, a potato knish and -- as a nod to the restaurant’s larger concept -- a shawarma with brisket, house pickles and spicy amba sauce (a tangy mix of mango, turmeric, chili, salt and more).

“We thought about latkes, but after one or two days of Chanukah, people are kind of sick of it,” says Wexler, himself a member of the tribe who spent many years making annual trips to the Westside’s now-defunct Chinese standby, VIP Harbor Seafood on Wilshire at Barrington. “There was also the proposition of being back in the kitchen frying off thousands of latkes all night. The first 25? Sure. But after that, it becomes a little much.”

For those uninterested in a shtetl-inspired dinner, the standard, notably non-kosher Mezze menu (blue prawns with saffron, persimmon salad with house bacon) will be offered as well. Explains Wexler: “I’m smart enough to realize that not everyone wants to eat tons of chicken liver.”

401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.657.4103, mezzela.com

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