March 9th, 2015 Update
Another fun meal at Zizi with friends. You know that you are eager to get somewhere when you park in front of a fire hydrant and don’t realize it. Like a Bulldog going to his favorite poop spot. Everyone enjoyed the meal. Aunt Trippo is now my favorite aunt by default. My only requirement is the ability to make a decent falafel. I’m very east. Grilled Beets, surprisingly appetizing for a non beet supporter. Crazy Baba is still Meshugenah, and the Shishito with white beans is a fun little snack
The tender Chicken Tagine was a winner, spiced properly with Moroccan spices, with chickpeas and Israeli Couscous (bubbly tiny pasta balls). Some enjoyed their fish with tomato based sauce a la Taboon. My Short rib was as tender as short rib should be if not a little gamey (in a good way). It came with Risotto style Freekeh (a Farro like grain), and tasty wild mushrooms. Nice dish. And speaking of Taboon, they even have their own version of the great Silan, which could use some crunch (nuts of some sort), but it didn’t stop me from a full blown attack.
In true Middle Eastern fashion, you will not find anything bland here. A fun, eclectic menu in an energetic room. Great place to take friends, second dates, or a hot mother-in-law.
September 7th, 2014 Post:
It was love at first chick(pea) at the Israeli Williamsburg neighborhood hotspot, Zizi Limona. Stemming from the two city hummus empires Hummus Place and Hummus Kitchen owners, plus another Israeli chef, the three Israeli amigos opened a very affordable place that every neighborhood should have. Mine has a good shoe repairman, a gas station, and your ordinary Chinese, which is why I sometimes have to eat in other neighborhoods (40 mins away) and pretend I live there. But if I ever need to repair my flip flops while waiting for my gassy General Tso’s, I’m all set. At Zizi on the other hand you can also shop for Pereg seasonings among other products off their shelves. If they could also offer the much sought after refrigerated Pereg stuff like the best S’chug ever made, and repair your flip flops while you wait for your hummus, rent in that hood will skyrocket
Zizi is like Balaboosta light, or a slightly less polished Bar Bolonat. The lunch menu is small but deadly. When it comes to menus, the smaller the better as far as I’m concerned. Drives me nuts seeing reviewers complain about such things. Drinks here, you can tell, are taken very seriously. My “Mosquito” was like a refreshing twist on Israeli “Limonana” (Lemonade with Mint) with Moscato, lime, mint, and soju. Wifey enjoyed her pomegranate Zimosa, and kids claimed “best water this side of the Gowanus!”. But I couldnt help but recall the “Mosquito” fart in the phone app, and when we hid the phone along with a timer at a co-worker desk when he went to the bathroom. “What kind of blog is this” I hear the three Israeli owners asking. The good kind amigos. The kind you dont see on SeriousEats. But lets dive into the food before they stop reading…
The Falafel plate, Aunt Trippo’s Falafel is of the Revelation kind. Who is this Aunt Trippo and what is she smoking? Golden, crisped to perfection balls sitting on top of this brilliant curry Tahini yogurt which I swear I just had this same sauce somewhere but cant remember where. Pickle, and some ultra tasty smoked tomato to round up this little one. I would come back just for this. The next aunt is another Crazy Baba, as in Babaganoush, but this one is “greened” with basil and is spot on. You will be hard pressed finding a better Baba in the city including in Brighton Beach. Rule of thumb in Israeli spots, if you see Grilled Cauliflower, order 17 of those. This grilled beauty included artichokes and did not disappoint. When you find yourself with three plates sitting there where you cant quite decide which direction your fork should go, you either came to the absolute wrong place, or the right one. Loved the apps here.
The Chicken Shawarma served on thick solid Hummus is what every Chicken Shawarma should taste like. The Cowshuka was far from your ordinary Shakshuka, where much of the tomato stew was substituted with Tahini, with eggs and in this case “I cant believe its not polish sausages” sausages that won me over (top pic). More of their Hummus came in the form of the Hummus Masabacha with eggplant, hard boiled egg, and tahini. For the Brooklyn Challenged, you can also get a nice Masabacha in Nish Nush in the city. We capped this one off with an exceptional Malabi. $90 later, all I can say is that I cant wait to have dinner here. GO! Nice to meet you Zizi. Ziggy
129 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn
Recommended Dishes: All of the above, especially the small plates
There’s so much here I am drooling over. It’s definitely on my list. And you were right, this place is so far down (up?) my alley that it’s almost at my front door!