912 S. Jefferson Street | SLC, Utah
T. 801.441.1228 | lazizkitchen.com
Friday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10 p.m.
Since 2012, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen have been serving Salt Lake a taste of authentic Lebanese fare. Under the brand name Laziz, which is Arabic for “tasty,” their hummus and various other spreads have long been popular mainstays of local farmer’s markets. With Sbeity’s family recipes and a simple and flavorful approach to home cooking, they’ve taught cooking classes (I’ve written about one of them for SLUG) and shared traditional recipes on social media. A few months ago, they opened Laziz Kitchen, a Lebanese restaurant in the burgeoning Central Ninth neighborhood.
I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Laziz spreads are always in my fridge, whether I buy them from the farmer’s market or pick them up from the grocery store. I’ve been waiting for the couple to open a restaurant because I knew that it would be the kind of place at which I would enjoy eating. I’m not surprised to say that Laziz Kitchen has exceeded my highest expectations. Not only is the food superb, but the friendly, welcoming and attentive service makes it feel like you’re eating at a good friend’s house.
M3LD, a popular local design firm, has fashioned a welcoming and pristine atmosphere in Laziz Kitchen. Marble tables, copper chairs and antique tiles create a warm aura. High wooden ceilings and white walls make the small restaurant feel spacious and roomy.
The market space is filled with unique items that you won’t find anywhere else. Shop for olive oils, spice blends and other Lebanese artisan goodies. There’s a retail case full of drinks and packaged Laziz spreads.
As for the menu, the small plates pack a punch of flavor—I’d happily enjoy a table full of them. Served with a side of freshly made pita bread and crisp, fresh lettuce leaves, these dips are delectable. When you’re at Laziz Kitchen, you must pay homage to the hummus ($6). Topped with a drizzle of flavorful olive oil and diced tomatoes, this rich, smooth hummus is what put Laziz on the map. Another favorite is the Spiced Labne ($8), a creamy dip made from strained yogurt that tastes more like a soft, tangy cheese. Dressed with garlic, mint and olive oil, this makes for a tasty appetizer. The Muhammara ($8) is a vegan revelation with a sweet and mild spicy flavor. It’s made from roasted red pepper, sweet pomegranate molasses and topped with crunchy walnuts. If you dig eggplant, try the Baba Ghannouj ($7). Roasted eggplant is mixed with tahini, lemon and garlic to create a deep and earthy flavor profile. If you can’t decide between them, opt for the Sampler Dip Plate ($12), where you can choose three spreads to sample.
Salads are meal-worthy at Laziz Kitchen. Fattoush ($8) is craveable and satisfying. Parsley, mint, green pepper and radish impart a light flavor, while crunchy, toasted pita chips add heft. The sweet pomegranate molasses makes this salad unforgettable. Tabbouleh ($8) is a Middle Eastern staple. The combination of bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, mint, lettuce and green onions make for a hearty and tasty dish with bright flavors.
You can’t go wrong with the Hummus Wrap ($8), a stone-fired flatbread stuffed with hummus, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, mint and pickles. Another vegan wrap I’ve enjoyed is the Man’oushe with Zaatar ($9). It has a unique flavor—tart and savory. The wraps are surprisingly filling. They’re available to go, paper-wrapped and ready in the case for those who have a busy day ahead. Choose from grilled chicken, beef or labne, among others.
Of course, not everything at Laziz Kitchen is vegan and vegetarian—I’m just partial to veg options. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Kafta Platter ($13). He savored each morsel of tender beef served with fluffy rice, a folded pita bread, a dollop of hummus and a flavorful salad. Next time, he’s going to order the meaty stew of the day.
If you have a group of four, don’t miss out on the Arabic Coffee. This strong brew is served in dainty cups. If you’re the lone coffee drinker, pick from a few local brews served in a coffee cup with “yalla,” the Arabic word for “Come on!” or “Let’s go!” printed on the outside. It begs to be documented for your Instagram feed. Rose syrup, orange blossom water and sparkling water come together in the Grenadine Rose Syrup ($5), a refreshing pairing for the more piquant dishes.
You’ll want something sweet to end your meal. The pastry case is full of goodies like housemade baklava ($4) and The Chocolate Conspiracy’s raw chocolate tahini cups ($6). There are some tasty options on the menu, too. The Meghli ($7) is a heavenly dessert. Rice pudding has never been so lovely. Flavors of spiced caraway and cinnamon with toppings of shredded coconut, pistachios and almonds make this dessert something special.
In February, Laziz started dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays. Options range from Cauliflower Stew ($13)—which I have my sights set on—to Kafta Bil Seney ($15), a beef-and-potato dish that my husband would enjoy. I’m looking forward to enjoying dinner at Laziz Kitchen soon.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the days on which Laziz provides dinner service. The mistake has been amended.