As we’ve noted, Middle Eastern cuisine is enjoying a recent renaissance in L.A., popping up at posh hotels and hip fusion cafes, and even taking over Sona as well as various strip malls around town. Cafe Sorrento, opening this Saturday in the former home of Encino’s Cafe Mocca, will pair pasta dishes, espresso, eggplant parm, panini, and thin crust-pizza with entrees of kebab plates, hummus, Greek salad, and tzatziki under the watch of chef Edward Megerdichian, a recent transplant from Sweden with Armenian heritage. Yes, there’s serious potential for a U.N. of flavors here, but the chef’s son tells us the two cuisines won’t meet…at least not yet.
Frederick Megerdichian tells Grub Street, “You need to start off simple,” explaining that, for now, the Middle Eastern and Italian offerings will have their own distinct places on the menu, with kebabs offered as entrees amid the mezze and Italian-originated dishes. “In time, we may slowly start to incorporate dishes for different combinations,” with the possiblity some Swedish fare could also hit tables as specials. Could this mean doner-topped panini and kebab cacciatore are lurking in the Valley’s future? We really hope so, if not just to see how it might work.
Cafe Sorrento opens for lunch and dinner this Saturday at 16616 Ventura Blvd. Encino.