The Best Mediterranean Restaurants In LA

Your guide for all things mezze, shawarma, and phyllo-related.
Tel Aviv fried white bass spread

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

There are 22 countries on the Mediterranean Sea, which is roughly 2,500 miles long (nearly the size of the United States). We’re aware that generalizing the cuisines of this massive region doesn’t make much sense, but that hasn’t stopped people from asking us where they can get the best Mediterranean food in LA. So, in that spirit, we compiled a list of “Mediterranean” restaurants we love. You’ll find Lebanese, Israeli, Greek, Palestinian, and Turkish spots in this guide, but they have at least one thing in common: excellent food.


photo credit: Jakob Layman


Los Feliz

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerKeeping It Kind Of Healthy
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Kismet in Los Feliz is the perfect example of a “Mediterranean” spot (read: the menu is geographically broad). It’s kind of Persian, sometimes Turkish, other times Levantine, yet everything has a general sense of health and tastes delicious, like cucumber salad on rosewater-infused labneh, lamb ribs brushed with a tart plum sauce, and crispy tahdig rice with a golden, buttery crust. Kismet’s menu changes with the seasons, but it’s always a reliable choice for casual and crowd-pleasing dinner.



OpenTable logo

You know a meal is a success at Mazal when every inch of your table is filled with some sort of dip, salad, or piping hot pita. People will be ripping and tearing, dipping and dunking, and sharing bottles of natural wine. Feta-stuffed bourekas and smoky babaganoush fight for space amongst big bowls of couscous and goat cheese flatbread. Food comes out fast at this vegetarian Israeli spot in Lincoln Heights, but don’t be surprised when you look at your phone and three hours have passed. Mazal’s warm, string-lit alleyway patio—and never-ending parade of excellent mezze—has a way of extending any group hangout session.

In a perfect world where money grew on trees, and we lived in a bathing suit, we’d eat mezze with an ocean view every day. That’s sadly still a pipe dream, but at least we can glimpse at the fantasy at Pita Bu. This small, casual Israeli spot across PCH from Surfrider Beach sets up a few long tables on its front patio, so you can walk up with sand in your trunks. The 100% pescatarian menu is full of pitas, plates, and dips, including smooth tahini and salty, smoky baba ganoush that we scoop up with falafel. Because we love Pita Bu’s mezze, we opt for the juicy fish kabob (they’re more like salmon kofta with minced onion and parsley) as a plate with hummus, pickles, and Israeli salad tossed in tons of sumac.

Dr. Sandwich has received various accolades from respectable sources (us). With two locations near each other in Beverly Grove, this kosher Mediterranean spot makes some of LA’s best shawarma, best salads, best falafel, etc. If you asked us for a fast-casual Mediterranean lunch spot, we’d probably send you here. This counter-service spot does staples made with noticeable finesse, like creamy hummus topped with sweet, roasted garlic, thinly pounded chicken schnitzel in chewy sesame baguettes, and falafel pitas with as much cabbage, roasted eggplant, and tahini as humanly possible crammed inside.

One would think the middle sibling between popular spots like Bestia and Saffy’s would get lost in the shuffle, but Bavel remains the best of the three. This upscale Middle Eastern spot in the Arts District is the epitome of consistency: the blockbuster space always feels like a well-orchestrated party, the service is sharp, and there’s not a bad dish on the menu. Come here to eat pumped-up dishes like spicy duck ‘nduja hummus, an impressive whole roasted lamb neck on laffa bread, and spreadable farm cheese dotted with little pools of za’atar and oil. No worries if you only make a small dent in Bavel’s sizable menu, you’re going to want to come back anyway.

Kismet Rotisserie—now with three locations across town—is Kismet’s more casual counter-service concept that’s all about roast chicken. Specifically, very good, very juicy roast chicken that you can order stuffed into a warm, fluffy pita or on a plate with sides of hummus, smoky chili oil, and whipped garlic sauce. It’s one of our go-to’s for a healthy-ish lunch that involves a lot of vegetable sides because they’re just as good as the poultry. Prioritize the crispy, schmaltzy potatoes, but the citrusy carrots and roasted cabbage are close runner-ups.

This small, low-lit Mediterranean restaurant in Echo Park—run by the same people as Dune—was originally vegetarian but now serves meat and fish, too. The room feels like a tiny, exposed kitchen was plopped in the middle of a wine bar, where friends split natural wines and share juicy lamb sis kebap, bubbling trays of smoky trout brandade, and hummus that’s popped in the oven so it arrives warm. Elf is also still vegetarian and vegan-friendly, with various vegetable sides, meatless tagines, and pasta dishes to choose from.

Greekman’s serves a good amount of kitsch along with great Greek food. This lively Silver Lake spot (previously Freedman’s) is adorned with miniature marble busts and dangling grapevines and has a blue and white patio in the parking lot that—even after several ouzo shots—does not teleport you to Paros. Most of the menu is small plates, which are great for a long night of grazing and sipping chilled whites from the islands. You can split tender grilled octopus, juicy lamb chops on tangy tzatziki, and feta-stuffed phyllo pockets that we’d happily order ten times over. The only reason we don’t is because those small plate prices add up. Use Greekman’s for drinks and a few bites, and you’ll have plenty of fun. 

Open since 1982, Marouch is one of the longest-standing Armenian/Lebanese restaurants in Hollywood and a pillar of the surrounding community. It’s also one of the best places to eat shawarma in the city, but Marouch’s real magic lies in its mezze. Gather as many friends as possible, maybe even invite your neighbor, and order tons because it all stands out there: smoky-sweet muhammara, spicy sugok, and a kiddie pool-sized bowl of hummus overflowing with ful.

Is brunch too early to eat an entire fried fish? The answer is no, especially if you’re at Tel Aviv Fish Grill. Every item at this seafood-leaning Israeli spot in Tarzana tastes light and fresh, including that whole-fried white bass. The breading is minimal, the meat effortlessly pulls off the bone, and it comes with a tangy lemon garlic dip and mezze spread with hummus, smoky roasted eggplant, and spicy pickles, to name a few. If you’re here solo and find a whole fish to be a bit much, you can’t go wrong with the golden fish schnitzel.

Ammatoli is an attractive outdoor/indoor downtown Long Beach spot with big windows, tiled walls, and a long leather banquette that wouldn’t be out of place in a Parisian cafe. The casual Mediterranean menu is an all-day affair, specializing in mezze platters, kebab plates, and more dishes from Levant. Whether you're stopping by for spicy shakshouka at brunch or a shawarma and hummus platter at dinner, everything here is beautifully plated and well-seasoned, with lots of sort-of-healthy options like a falafel bowl and beet-feta salad we could eat daily. The moussaka, a hearty casserole made with eggplant, ground beef, and creamy bechamel sauce, makes it onto our table every time we come.

Calabra reaches its full potential in the summer.. Perched above the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, this splashy spot has a palm tree-lined patio with views of the coastline. The music is loud, and people are definitely dressed up, but it’s the Mediterranean-leaning food that really makes this place stand out. The menu is full of grilled meats, fish, and vegetables, plus there’s a massive mezze sampler lined with enough spicy muhammara, whipped hummus, and creamy baba ganoush to keep you grazing for a full afternoon. Come wearing linen and enjoy some juicy steak kebabs and a baklava sundae as you look out at the sunset.

While most people visit Saffy’s to slide sizzling cuts of steak off skewers, this East Hollywood spot from the Bavel team isn’t afraid to riff on traditional Middle Eastern recipes, too—just look at their green falafel with dill relish or grilled onion and endive salad drenched in pomegranate molasses. But the most exciting twist on the menu is the lobster skewer. Cut into chunks, coated in green harissa, then grilled to perfection, the juicy pieces of lobster tail glisten like a teen idol in a skincare commercial. There’s a dollop of serrano-lime yogurt on the side, but the meat is so incredibly tender it’s almost unnecessary. Bring a group of friends for a table-covered spread, or have a more intimate date night at the bar. 

With three locations across LA, Mizlala has grown a lot since it first opened in 2016—but one thing hasn’t changed: excellent Israeli food. Order everything at the counter, grab some pickled sides from the condiments bar, and take a seat on the patio. It’s the ideal place for a quick weeknight meal or a last-minute group dinner that won’t break the bank. The menu is small but effective—any of the main proteins can be ordered as a pita, salad, or plate with rice, hummus, and veggies. We especially love their well-seasoned chicken shawarma, and the spiced kefta is a good bet, too.

Jerusalem Chicken checks all the boxes of a reliable fast-casual spot and then some. This Palestinian restaurant serves a range of pita sandwiches, falafel plates, and chicken dishes in a tiny View Park-Windsor Hills strip mall. The portions are huge, which means you can basically split every dish on the menu. Plus, other than a couple of party-sized items, nothing costs more than $20. There’s no dine-in seating, but the food here tends to travel well, so it’s a good choice for a quick meal on your lunch break or takeout for a park hang.

Papa Cristo’s is a 75-year-old Greek market/deli in Pico-Union that’s a flat-out LA institution. It’s part deli, part bakery, and part Greek grocer, which explains why you’ll find a bunch of people loitering in their spacious dining hall. A meal here feels less like you’re eating at a traditional restaurant and more like you stumbled into a neighborhood potluck at a community center. Everyone orders what they want individually from the front counter—we love the saganaki and veggie moussaka—and then dines in the adjoining dining room, where tables are pushed together as needed. Be sure to grab some homemade Greek yogurt and honey for dessert.

Furn Saj is a Lebanese restaurant/bakery in Granada Hills, with other locations in Calabasas, and Glendora). If you’re within 20 minutes of any of these shops, you need to make a stop. A meal at this family-run spot can be overwhelming—the menu features more than 70 dishes—so we recommend starting with either chicken or beef shawarma (both among the best we’ve eaten in LA) and ending with a sampling from their incredible baked goods case. The saroukh (bread filled with cheese, onion, and parsley) is crunchy, savory, and just a little spicy, and you can chase it with rice pudding after.

Dune might appear to be just another neighborhood falafel joint, but crowds form outside this tiny Atwater for a reason—there’s not one miss on the menu. That includes their top-tier falafel, silky sides of hummus, grilled lamb plates, and their pièce de résistance: the fried chicken “shawarma” sandwich, which is easily one of the best in LA. The space is essentially a to-go window, but if you want to stay and eat your Mediterranean feast, there’s a big front patio where everybody stays and watches the sunset. 

When it comes to great shawarma in LA, it doesn’t get more classic than Skaf’s. The tiny, order-at-the-counter Lebanese grill in North Hollywood has been operating for over two decades (they have locations in Glendale and Highland Park as well). Both the chicken and beef shawarma are equally good in our book, so just do what we do and get the mixed plate. Be sure to throw in a cabbage salad and some stuffed grape leaves, too—both are excellent. 

This order-at-the-counter cafe lives behind a strip mall off Eagle Rock Blvd., so don’t be upset when you drive past it on your first go-around. Just be sure to circle back. We love the spicy, smoky chicken shawarma and the salmon kabob wrap. There’s a separate menu hanging on the wall featuring Russian dumplings. You need at least one order of these. They’re dense, cheesy, and creamy, with a big herby pop from the dill on top.

Ladyhawk is a modern Lebanese restaurant on the ground floor of the Kimpton La Peer in West Hollywood. The colorful, Art Deco-y dining room is strikingly beautiful and ideal for impressing somebody whose entire personality is not being impressed. Plus, the menu is full of food that even the pickiest eater at your table will enjoy. The highlight is the shareable mezze platter, which arrives on a giant lazy susan, filled with nine kinds of dips and shmears, as well as falafel and warm, pillowy pita. It’s more than enough food for two, but if you want to explore the entrees, go for the grilled prawns or olive-crusted rack of lamb.

Every time we take someone new to Momed, they inevitably say something like, “Wait, how did I not know about this place”? Chalk it up to its location on a quiet industrial/residential side street, but this upscale Mediterranean spot remains deeply under the radar. And that’s despite having a gigantic, stunning patio and an all-around excellent menu. Start your meal with warm sourdough pita and stand-out sides like avocado hummus and sweet muhammara, then end with juicy flat-iron beef shish and a spicy jidori chicken.

Even if there’s a line out front, meals at Avi Cue in Studio City happen at lightning speed—we’ve never spent more than 20 minutes inside this order-at-the-counter shop. The bare-bones menu starts and ends with a shawarma sandwich, arayes, fries, and a nutella-stuffed dessert pita. Skip past the ground beef-stuffed arayes (the $7 price tag feels steep for what is essentially two bites of food). Instead, if you’re by yourself, focus on the sandwich with juicy, spit-roasted wagyu beef, tomato, onion, parsley, tahini, and tangy amba. It’ll keep you full well past dinner.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

Mini kabob spread

The Best Armenian Restaurants In Los Angeles

14 spots for your next Armenian kebab, falafel, and manti feast.


14 excellent Persian spots for kabobs, ghormeh sabzi, and more.

16 Great LA Restaurants To Eat Something Kind Of Healthy image

Where to eat a healthy dinner and actually enjoy it.

Where To Get Great Shawarma In LA image

12 of our favorite shaved-from-the-spit shawarma spots.

Infatuation Logo


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.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store