ATXReview

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Ezov image
8.5

Best New Restaurants

2023

Ezov

MediterraneanIsraeli

HollyEast Austin

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightBirthdaysCasual Weeknight Dinner
RESERVE A TABLE

POWERED BY

OpenTable logo
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Included In

Upscale Mediterranean restaurants typically follow a formula that, by now, is beginning to feel about as fresh as whatever installment of The Fast & Furious came out most recently (and a new meaning to all the restaurants serving dishes “family style”). There’s usually some hummus with short ribs, whipped feta, and probably an expensive salad that’s really just a few olives and some feta cheese. But every once in a while, you get a spinoff or a reboot that offers a fresh spin on the genre. Enter Ezov, the buzzy East Side Mediterranean restaurant drawing inspiration from Tel Aviv markets and serving imaginative, fine-dining takes on Israeli street food with an occasional Texas twist.

Ezov is from the same team behind Canje, Hestia, Kalimotxo, and Emmer & Rye—it’s almost like they’re trying to build a mini EPCOT of global cuisine here in Austin. And like its sister concepts, seasonality is a big factor in deciding what makes the menu on any given day, so Ezov’s silky smooth hummus might arrive topped with grilled summer squash or sauteed oyster mushrooms and hazelnuts. Dishes arrive drizzled with colorful oils and garnishes that make every plate feel fancy enough to hold their own in a conversation about sailing and international bonds. But the plates—like the DIY chicken shawarma—still hold enough traces of the street food origins to prevent a meal here from feeling too formal.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Ezov image
Ezov image
Ezov image

Like the food, the dining room at Ezov makes an otherwise upscale dining experience feel just a little bit more relaxed, like when the “cool” teacher in high school threw in a few swear words here and there to throw you off their authoritative role. Graffiti is a common theme here, whether it’s decorating the walls with the lyrics to Britney Spears’ Toxic, spray-painted in Hebrew, or adding little jabs of color to lanterns hanging from the tall ceilings of the dining room. Similarly, the music bounces between a relaxed soundtrack that blends in with the background, to old-school hip hop. Ezov feels like a place you could just as easily visit for a birthday or date night as for a random Tuesday evening when you want to sit at the bar and eat something “just a little bit fancy.”

So if you don’t feel like eating another formulaic greek salad, head to Ezov for refreshing takes on familiar Mediterranean flavors in a fun and lively space. Or just call up your crew of superhuman street racing friends and see if maybe this week they want to grab some tacos or just do something a little different. 

Food Rundown

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Crudo

The fish changes out from time to time, but what remains constant is the pistachio and pomegranate that top each bite. The fish is fresh and buttery, and a small drizzle of leaf-infused oil adds a bright, almost peppery finish. This is an excellent take on a dish that helps it stand out from the hundreds of other crudos you’ll find in town.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Smashed Cucumber

These cucumbers are served on a bed of creamy yogurt that adds a silky texture to some otherwise crunchy bites. It’s also covered in fresh herbs that make this an incredibly refreshing dish.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Hummus

Our single biggest complaint with Ezov is that the hummus does not come with any sort of bread. So unless you’re okay eating it with a spoon, you’ll want to order a side of Mediterranean wheat bread to scoop it all up. Once you get past that, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a plate of incredibly smooth, rich hummus topped with some combination of seasonal produce, nuts, and Israeli hot sauce.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Chicken Shawarma

Instead of arriving freshly carved off a large spit, the chicken thighs are marinated, slow-cooked in lamb fat, then presented on a tiny, tabletop spit, along with a knife, a large, folded piece of fermented laffa bread, and a ton of little condiments and add-ons. The result is a DIY dish that’s as fun and interactive as it is rich, savory, and spicy.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Kofta

A single skewer of lamb-and-beef kabob arrives on a bed of roasted eggplant, topped with pine nuts and spring onions. The meat is a little gamey and incredibly savory, and best enjoyed with a small bite of smoky eggplant and a few buttery pine nuts, to balance out each bite.

Ezov image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Baklava

The baklava is sweet, and packed full of Texas pecans and pistachios, the bananas are caramelized, with an almost-crispy shell, and the tahini adds a mild, necessary

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

Infatuation Logo

Cities

2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

FIND PLACES ON OUR APP

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store