In New York, hole-in-the-wall restaurants are often places where families dish out generations of culinary genius. Well, the San Fernando Valley may be known for many things–celebrity homes, authentic Mexican food, etc.–but being a mecca for the culinary “diamond-in-the-rough” is not one of them. So when my friend begged me to go with her to a hidden Lebanese restaurant in North Hollywood, I admittedly hesitated.
Since I trust her taste buds, I eventually caved and off to North Hollywood we went. I’m glad I did because Hayat’s Kitchen, a family-owned restaurant in an unassuming area of NoHo, is by far the most delicious Lebanese food I have ever tasted. I’m not sure how they get their hummus so creamy, but it is so light and smooth that feels like it’s made with whipped cream or something. To my surprise, the hummus was not overly garlicky or lemony; it was just right. Everything we tasted was arguably better than what came before it. I really loved the fattoush salad and the cream-filled baklavah. I am notoriously repulsed by baklavah, because of its too-sweet flavor and often sticky-soggy texture. So, the fact that I begged this restaurant for another round was stunning to me. Everything they served us was delicious.
This is not the place to get dressed up for, since it is in a very “no fuss” venue. However, it is the perfect spot for mouthwatering, moderately priced food and truly unbeatable service. Trust me, this place is worth the trip to North Hollywood. If the L.A. Times can do it, so can you.
11009 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601