What: The mensaf
Where: Taste the World Bar and Grill, 411 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
How much: $24
Contact: 619-813-3744; tastetheworldpalmsprings.com
Why: It’s unique and delicious.
Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine owner John Tsoutis broke a lot of foodies’ hearts when he shut down his two Coachella Valley restaurants in favor of a Seal Beach venture. However, those foodies should know that a new restaurant, also offering Mediterranean fare, has opened in the former Evzin Palm Springs space—and that there’s a lot of potential there.
My friends Brad and Jeffrey joined me one recent Monday night at Taste the World Bar and Grill, inside the Caliente Tropics hotel, for a delicious meal. We started off with the dolmades ($10), the baba ganoush ($10) and the hummus ($10), all of which were enjoyable—especially the dolmades; the vegetarian grape leaves were devoured rather quickly.
For entrées, we decided to split the oozie ($19) and the mensaf ($24). If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering: What in the heck are oozie and mensaf? The answers, per the Taste of the World menu: Oozie is a choice of meat (we chose chicken) “with cooked chopped onion, slice almonds, mixed with rice and spices,” and served with salad and tzatziki sauce. The mensaf—a Jordanian specialty—is a similar rice dish, but the meat (lamb, in this case) is cooked with fermented yogurt, and it’s all served with a side of mensaf yogurt.
That mensaf was the star of the meal; the lamb was cooked perfectly, and that yogurt sauce was divine.
The folks at Taste the World Bar and Grill are definitely working out some kinks; while we were the only dine-in customers for most of the evening, there was an overlong lag between the starters and the main courses. But imperfections are to be expected at brand-new places—and the food was good enough to get me quite excited about Taste of the World’s future.