10962 Ventura Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Mantee Cafe Los Angeles Reviews
Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Dec 01, 2015
Where to try the best humus, basturma and tan in Los Angeles? Go to Mantee - Middle Eastern cafe - the little meat-filled dumplings for which the cafe is named. Located on Ventura Boulevard, free parking in back.
The interior is very small — a handful of wood French country style tables fill the room with paintings on the wall. It’s cozy and comfortable.
But the real magic is when you walk outside to the patio seating. Romantic leaf-shaded patio with its lush potted plants massed in every corner under the golden light of Parisian-style iron street lamps.
As soon as you are seated, you are given a large basket filled with toasted and fresh pita, along with a small serving of a dipping sauce made with sesame seeds, olive oil and anise.
The Mantee menu lists several varieties of kebabs, hummus and salads.
Tan, the thick, salted yogurt drink that is standard at Lebanese joints — here it’s rich, barely soured, almost buttery, like fresh mozzarella sipped through a straw.
The best hummus you've ever tasted, is complexly nutty, expressing the round, toasty taste of chickpeas instead of concealing it with sesame paste, and it’s even better sprinkled with Lebanese pine nuts fried in olive oil.
Basturma, the Armenian answer to bresaola or bundnerfleisch, comes thinly sliced on five baguette rounds, each topped with a sunny-side-up quail egg.
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