Mediterranean cuisine is renowned for the way its rich ingredients inspire innovative food-fighting techniques. Skillfully execute the Kebab Eye Jab or the Hummus Humdinger with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Mediterranean eats and drinks at Azu (or $55 if redeemed Sunday–Wednesday).
With an eclectic menu that includes tapas, paninis, entrees, and fresh, homemade gelato, this Spanish/Mediterranean establishment keeps taste buds aflutter with pan-cultural palate pulchritude. Chef Laurel Moore selects the finest-quality meats and produce from Ojai farms and ranches and even grows some of her own fruits and veggies in the Azu garden. Lunch selections include lighter options such as the jamon serrano and manchego panini (Spanish ham, manchego cheese, drizzled with olive oil on wheat ciabatta, $8) and the roasted beet salad (duo of beets, ricotta salata, fried chickpeas, Moroccan olives, and sherry vinaigrette, $13). Dinner comes tailored to either your inner Arnold Schwarzenegger or Danny DeVito, with larger entrees including the oven-roasted wild Alaskan salmon (marinated in Moroccan spices, served with roasted butternut squash and vegetable and dried fruit Israeli couscous, $25), and small tapas such as the lamb kabobs (ground lamb and Moroccan spices served with cucumber tzatziki, $11) and stuffed dates (organic dates stuffed with chorizo and wrapped in bacon, $9). Wines from the Mediterranean region (25 varieties offered by the glass) or house cocktails such as the Spanish martini (Belvedere, Chambord, pineapple juice and a float of Cava, $14) fulfill aqua vitae appetency, while seasonal homemade gelato, such as the mango chili lime, is a great finish to the feast or an suitable take-home face moisturizer. Reservations are recommended, so go online to reserve a table.