Mediterranean Food Encino

Nara Mediterranean Bistro & Lounge Balances Vegan Combo Plate

Nara Mediterranean Bistro & Lounge in Encino has more charms than the basic façade reveals. Step through the front door to find that the restaurant and hookah lounge contains a speckled bar, tan walls with floral leather flourishes and covered patio with white-clothed tables. Arabic music videos propulsively pump from flat-screen TVs. Nara means “fire,” and until recently […]

Nara Mediterranean Bistro & Lounge in Encino has more charms than the basic façade reveals. Step through the front door to find that the restaurant and hookah lounge contains a speckled bar, tan walls with floral leather flourishes and covered patio with white-clothed tables. Arabic music videos propulsively pump from flat-screen TVs.

Nara means “fire,” and until recently they produced flatbreads in-house from a wood-burning patio oven. Sadly they shut down the oven due to complaints from neighbors. Now their pita comes from a bag. Thankfully, flavorful accompaniments remain.

In Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, the vegetarian combo is a frequent refrain, which allows groups to enjoy a variety of flavors to start each meal … or for a single diner to experience a full dinner. Nara’s Vegan Combo Plate ($15.95) is a good representation of the form. On each plate you’ll find creamy hummus with chickpeas, olive oil and parsley; smoky baba ghanouj with tomato, olive oil and parsley; tabbouli with cracked wheat and tomato; tangy stuffed grape leaves; and supple, deep-fried falafel served with tahini. This plate is a proving ground. If you like one particular dish, order more.

17970 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 8180-774-9621

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