Even if you just moved to LA, you’re probably aware of the sheer quantity of “Mediterranean-leaning” restaurants in this city—Levantine, Provençal, the ever-generic “coastal,” etc. The popularity makes sense; Mediterranean cuisine is centered around "locally-sourced" ingredients and is broadly considered “light”— catchphrases that make Angelenos rest easy in bed at night. But now that edamame hummus has suddenly become a menu mainstay, we’ve reached the saturation point.
Which is why a meal at Marouch is more rewarding than ever. The classic Lebanese-Armenian restaurant in East Hollywood has long been one of LA’s tentpole dining experiences, and even after all these years, their incredible, meze-filled menu still sets the bar for every new Mediterranean restaurant in town.
The first thing you’ll notice when walking into Marouch’s strip mall space is its grandiosity. The gigantic dining room with a wrap-around bar is filled with dramatic murals meant to evoke a summertime al fresco dinner on the Lebanese coast. Sure, it’s a little cheesy, but that’s part of the fun, which means Marouch is ideal for one thing—big-group dining. Now, you can certainly come here, split a few a la carte meze with yourself or a friend and have a great meal, but you’d also be limiting yourself. The best meals at Marouch are the ones where every inch of the table is covered in different small plates. If that means rounding up second-tier friends and second cousins to make it happen, then so be it. Because once the incredible food starts hitting the table, no one’s going to be complaining.
Marouch’s menu is fairly lengthy, but can easily be split into two simple sections —the meze and the entrees. While you should absolutely take advantage of both during your meal, the meze section deserves most of your attention. With almost 25 different dishes, ordering can be a little overwhelming, so just do what we do, and stick to the combination platters. Broken into three different sizes (for two, four, or six people), they’re a highlight tour of the best meze on the menu. You’ll get creamy hummus, tangy tabbouleh, cheese fatayer (flaky pies) that people will fight over, spicy sugok (pan-fried Armenian sausage), and labneh and olive oil. In other words, there’s no shortage of flavor profiles on the table.
From there, throw in a few more a la carte meze, like a slightly sweet muhammara that’s probably our favorite thing on the whole menu, and the hummus with tahini and ful. Or, just head over to the entree section. Here is where you’ll find all the shawarma and kebabs you could want, but we prefer the lamb chops and quail. The lamb itself falls right off the bone and the marinated quail is perfectly barbecued, bringing smoke and char to an already flavor-packed meal.
Just note, if you're looking for edamame hummus, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
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Slightly sweet with just the right amount of spice, this is our favorite muhammara in LA, and one of the true stars of Marouch’s menu. Consider it a must-order a la carte item.
Hummus B-Tahini And Ful Mudammas
You won’t find this specialty hummus on any of the meze combinations, but it needs to hit your table regardless. It’s the house hummus topped with warm fava bean stew. This isn’t a light dish necessarily, but once you taste it, you’ll realize you’ll have zero issues filling up on it.
Flaky cheese pies? Why not? These little guys are going to disappear very quickly, so just do what we do and flag over the server for a replacement.
It doesn’t have the immense curb appeal of some of the other meze, but this spicy, pan-fried sausage will absolutely be one you’re talking about on the drive home.
We love this marinated quail because its smoky, barbecued flavors are an ideal change-up from the more savory and herbaceaous profiles that make up a meal at Marouch.
This isn’t the best baklava we’ve ever eaten, but it’s still very good, and any opportunity to eat baklava is an opportunity you take.