When we're traveling, I like to try things that I can't get at home. Mrs. Beagle and Laptop both recommended that we go to Zahav for our anniversary dinner in Philadelphia. I was sold as soon as I learned it was an Israeli restaurant. I think this may have been my first full Israeli meal ever, and I'm not aware of anything comparable in Los Angeles right now. Readers, are you?
Zahav. Really, really, really dark. It was so dark that we requested an ever-so-slightly better lit table in a feeble attempt to aid my photography.
We chose to do the Mesibah, described as a "party time" menu with "limited availability." It is apparently "the ultimate Zahav experience." For just $48 per person, you get "a full tour of the menu" below.
Salatim -- a selection of salads.
Hummus with laffa.
Crispy haloumi, peach-amba puree, local corn, almonds.
Fried cauliflower, labaneh with chive, dill, mint, and garlic.
Roasted zucchini, Kashkaval cheese, hazelnuts, anchovy.
Whole-roasted lamb shoulder with pomegranate and chickpeas over crispy Persian rice.
our meal at Graffiato was my favorite meal of the weekend, my favorite singular dish of the weekend was this one. It completely blew us away. It was the best lamb of our lives.
People. People! Did you read that? The! Best! Lamb! Of! Our! Lives!
And it was gigantic. We felt like we ate our own weight in delectable, crisp, tender, juicy lamb, and yet there was still at least half of a humongous mountain left on the plate. Not to mention, the bed of crispy rice was crazy good, too. I wish I could've hauled the remains all the way back to Los Angeles. Seriously.
It was so phenomenal that we just had to ask our server how it was prepared. First, the lamb is whole-roasted. Second, it is grilled over coals. Third, it is braised in pomegranate juice. There are probably other steps, but the entire labor-intensive process takes three days. Three days! No wonder this lamb was so incredible!
Chocolate almond cigars, chocolate mousse, stewed cherries.
Vanilla semifreddo, pistachio cookie, strawberry, blueberry.
Zahav met and exceeded our fairly high expectations. I will dream fondly of that lamb. If you're ever in Philadelphia, you should make your lamb dreams come true.