Sunnin

Sesame treat: Falafel plate with rice, hummus, tahini, and Lebanese salad; tabouleh (upper right)

Sesame treat: Falafel with rice, hummus, tahini, Lebanese salad, and tabbouleh (right)

Love for fool: The funky fava mash (right), with pita

Love for fool: The funky fava mash (right), with pita

Eager tonight for a Middle Eastern feast, we headed to Sunnin (1776 Westwood Blvd., just north of Santa Monica Blvd.), a casual, affordable, and vegan-friendly Lebanese restaurant near UCLA. For appetizers we ordered tabbouleh, a cracked-wheat salad made with tomato, onion, lemon, and a heap of parsley; spicy potatoes, diced and sautéed to goldenness with garlic, cilantro, and lemon; and perhaps our favorite dish of the evening, fool (sometimes spelled foul), a rich, lemony, and ever so slightly funky mash of fava beans with garlic and olive oil. For an entrée, we chose the falafel plate, which came with moist, flavorful rice; tahini sauce that was tangy, not bitter; a pungent spear of horseradish; and a Lebanese salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a lemon-garlic-mint dressing. Though the slightly spicy, slightly dry fava-based falafel and the reasonably fresh but not quite oven-toasty pitas fell short of their counterparts at Habayit (see June 20 review), Sunnin’s hummus prevailed with its unctuous, lemony thickness and perfect balance between chickpeas and sesame. (Our unsweetened yogurt drink, however, was a bit too sour for us.) Sunnin, it’s true, may not triumph in every category, but for a bold taste of the Levant, it would be fool-ish to pass up this Westwood winner.

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