Eating authentically prepared food lets you taste the very essence of a country and draw far fewer glares than chewing on its national flag. Nibble your way through Israel with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Israeli cuisine at Itzik Hagadol Grill in Encino.
Itzik Hagadol Grill's chefs sizzle skewered meats inside a traditional taboon oven to delight diners and make the restaurant's sister location in Yafo, Israel proud. Using local cuts of protein, with kosher meats avalible, cooks fashion trademark house kebabs of veal and lamb ($11.99 for one skewer; $17.99 for two), which flaunt delicious morsels like an Oompa Loompa's portfolio. The taboon roasting device also forges nonpunctured slabs, such as an 11-ounce chicken breast ($14.99) that graces tables accompanied by two sides. More than 20 fresh house salads brim with hummus, roasted potatoes, and eggplant, and sheets of laffa flatbread skate across plates to scoop crumbs as patrons chatter cheerily on an outdoor patio.
Itzik Hagadol Grill
Itzik Hagadol Grill has two locations, one in Encino, California, and the original in Jaffa, Israel. Despite being separated from its sister restaurant by an ocean and three in-flight movies, the American eatery still embraces the characteristic flavors and ingredients of Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine, earning a rating of "good to very good" from Zagat. The kitchen's taboon oven bakes fresh laffa bread as the cooks carefully arrange more than 20 kinds of Middle Eastern salads, which garnered praise from the Los Angeles Times in 2009 for their vibrancy and variety. Grills further heat up the kitchen by searing kebabs of house-ground veal and lamb as well as skewers of less common meats, including foie gras, chicken liver, and veal sweetbreads. The warmth forged in the culinary crucible that is the kitchen emanates outward to the dining area, where padded booths stimulate comfort and conviviality.
Almost everyone, it seems, orders Itzik's signature appetizer of 20 Israeli salads: a dazzling assortment of rainbow-hued saladsLinda Burum, Los Angeles Times, 5/6/09
The distinct flavors of lamb and veal melded quite harmoniously in the rich, tenderhouse kebab.Reviewer, Noms, Not Bombs 9/8/10
17201 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, California 91316Get Directions