(Picture by Dan Peretz)
My husband's recent 37th birthday was an excellent excuse for trying out Meir Adoni's new restaurant, Mizlala ("Eatery"), the little sister of the his very fancy flag restaurant, Catit. I googled the menu, just to get a preview. I will have to be honest and admit that middle eastern fare is not really my favorite and the menu seemed to be heavily influenced. Still, Meir never let us down, so I had to try to shut down my negative vibes, which all resonate with couscous, tajine and some form of roasted chicken and the overwhelming scent of cinnamon, curry and cumin.
I went ahead and made the reservation. And luckily, I was not disappointed.
The place in itself is very minimalist, with shades of grey, warm woods and crystal, all in good taste and a flare of Bauhaus. The entire restaurant is surrounded by wide, top to floor bare windows, that let you look at the rather dirty, graffiti covered, very South Tel Aviv'ish Nachalat Binyamin street. While it's not a pretty site, when you're inside shielded by a good beat and loads of sinful food, that eye sore is disturbingly charming.
The menu is divided in 4 categories, plus desserts. It can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get a good look at the dishes and try some of them, it becomes quite clear what they were up to.
Number 1: bread, appetizers and other small dishes to get your saliva squirting in your mouth.
Number 2: Quick, super filling meals, ideal for midday business lunch (wish I knew!)
Number 3: Fish, seafood and meat dishes - light version
Number 4: Meat -the heavy stuff
Unknowingly, we ordered 7 different dishes (plus one on the house), plus 2 desserts.
We nearly died.
Lets see the spread:
White Sourdough Bread with Anise Seeds served with Pepper Aioli & Butter - we wanted more!!!
‘Zvia’s Cubana’, Mashed Grilled Tomatoes & Hot Green Pepper - light as air brioche, amazing.
Palestinian Tartar, Chopped Rump Steak, Crude Tehina, Pine Nuts, Yogurt, Broad Beans and Cumin - Intense flavors, I would have loved to pick on some sweetness, perhaps a few bits of dates here and there... how about a crushed honey candy?
“Boulangerie” Croissant, Calf Brain, Tomato Tabgha, Smoked Peppers and Eggplants, Potatoes - A whole meal, like the mother-load of all borrekas.
Seafood bisque with butter roasted bread and ceviche (not on the website menu)- salty, buttery deliciousness.
Seafood risotto (not on the website menu)- very very tasty... but the rice was undercooked. They took it back without a question and brought us another dish instead - I was more than happy!)
Charcoaled Sweetbreads, Jerusalem Artichoke, Roasted Mushrooms, Chestnuts -intense flavor bomb. By then, I was eating a lot slower and nearly feeling the food on my back teeth.
Exotic Soup, Coconut Milk, Passion Fruit, Piña Colada Sorbet - very refreshing. We needed that!
Cacao and Nuts Ice Cream Sandwich, Toffee Ice Cream and Chocolate Whip (on the house) - so yummy... and way to much at that point. We still ate most of it.
The only two things that nagged me bit, were the overpriced and not very impressive sangria with canned lychees (come on! That was 40 shekels a pop!) and the bread... what can I say... 4 small of slices of bread for 23 shekels... and so much sauce and butter to wipe off the plates. That can't be right. More bread please!
Overall, a great place for an evening out! I'm set on going back soon and... and do it all over again! ;-)
MIZLALA / OPENING HOURS: