On the outskirts of Burbank, which to me is pretty much North Hollywood, sits Hayat’s Kitchen. Here lies, some of the best Middle Eastern (Lebanese) food you can find on the cheap. The vibe inside is casual, the decor is to a minimum, and they have a TV. I watched the Lakers game, enjoyed some classic Middle Eastern food, and enjoyed the time. Here, the vibe is similar to that of Mario’s Peruvian. Nothing is pretentious, and the food takes center stage. Everything tasted as it would come out of any Lebanese family’s home. Hayat’s is really unmatched, and one of the best places to get Middle Eastern food in the Los Angeles area.
We started things off with one of my guilty pleasures: french fries. The potatoes harra were fries with garlic and parsley on top. Think, garlic fries on crack. Served with a side of toum, the bright white garlic sauce, you know, like the one at Zankou Chicken, the pure taste was incredible. The garlic level was increased exponentially. This was the perfect start and what garlic fries should be. The parsley did a nice job in keeping the garlic in check.
The Kabob shish tawook was a favorite of mine. The marinated charbroiled chicken breast with pepper and tomato was a perfect mix, and the chicken wasn’t dry. It came with rice, hummus and salad, and mixing everything inside the pita was delicious.
We ordered the hummus with meat, and we got, hummus and meat. It was literally a dish of hummus topped with sautéed meat and pine nuts. This sauce, dip, meat concoction was terrific! Not only did I get some hummus in my pita, it had beef inside! Mixing everything from the chicken, lettuce, garlic sauce, hummus, and beef, it was a perfect bite every time.
When Eating Middle Eastern food, it would be for nothing if it weren’t for the side of pickled radish, pickles, and olives. The bright red radishes, with their sour crisp texture is the perfect remedy for meats and fatty dishes. Going back and forth from the pickled veggies and each bite of the pita was like a well oiled machine. Bite of the pita pocket, bite of the radish, some garlic fries, and back from the beginning.
At the end of our meal, they gave us some complimentary baklava. The sticky, gooey good stuff was a perfect end to this surprisingly tasty meal. Hidden in the corner of a strip mall, Hayat’s is certainly a gem. The food is pristine, tasty and affordable. You definitely get more than what you pay for, and little touches like the complimentary baklava keep people coming back. Now we need to do something about having one closer to LA.