Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Everyone loves Sunnin, the Lebanese cafe that together with the Persian joints rescues Westwood from culinary mediocrity. Although the plates, falafel sandwich and specials are excellent, perhaps my favourite way to eat here is to assemble a meal from appetizers/mezza. Every appetizer I've tried has been great, these are my top picks:

Labneh. I first encountered this amazing soured cream/cheese from an Israeli labmate in SF. Sunnin's version is super thick and optionally drenched in garlic with a splash of olive oil. Also called kefir, this is possible my favourite mezza to eat on pita bread.

Foul. Fava bean classic is extra sour from lemon juice here, a nice combo with the richness of labneh.

Falafel. I have never had better falafel than Sunnin's. They may be even better without the potential soggification of sandwich fixings.

Fried cauliflower. Suggested strongly by our host one evening, who pestered us to name the batter after our first satisfied bites. A few feeble guesses later he beams "Nothing... nothing, my friends!". Tahini is a jolly good dipping sauce.

Soujouk. This is Sunnin's secret weapon, a plate of mind-blowing Armenian cured beef sausage sliced up and fried with onions. The flavour is rich and spicy, you'll want to sop up every drop of sausage-and-onion flavoured oil from the dish.

Hommos. Like many other things at Sunnin, this is the hummus/hommos you're familiar with but executed to perfection, crushed to a paste that's mushier and much more flavourful than the often-grainy supermarket hummus.

For the indecisive, there are also pastry combos (to me, the assorted fried things are more similar than they might seem - all are very tasty) and a mezza combo. If there is a daily special, one could do far worse than order it indiscriminately. Stuffed peppers are particularly fine. Viva Sunnin!


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