Garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs season the Lebanese cuisine at Layla, a new spot in The Grove.
Standard meze such as hummus (which can be topped with grilled beef tenderloin), baba ghanoush and falafel are well-made, and if you’re looking for something unique, the kitchen doesn’t disappoint. Here, labneh (thickened Arabic yogurt) is creamy and mild, drizzled with aromatic olive oil. Foul moudames combines fresh fava beans with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a rich stew to be spooned atop thin pita. Ordering makdous brings tiny, cold eggplants stuffed with spiced walnuts, red pepper and garlic.
For another take on eggplant, try mnazla batenjaan, where rich tomato sauce blankets a hearty serving that benefits from the onions and peppers. Lamb chops and beef shish kebabs are tender, the latter served with grilled tomatoes and onions. Finish with baklava made in the traditional way: with rose water. It’s a delightful way to end your Middle Eastern feast.
Layla Lebanese Restaurant, 4317 Manchester Road, The Grove, 314.535.5500, laylalebaneserestaurant.com