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Mezze

The quiet formality of Sona has been replaced by olive trees, a vast skylight, a glass-enclosed kitchen, and the contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine of relative newcomer Micah Wexler (Craft). It’s one heck of a transformation, and the laid-back, almost publike energy suits the place—and the times. True to its name, the menu focuses on mezze, the little snacks that elsewhere we’d call small plates. A refreshing spring tabbouleh makes good use of pungent green garlic, favas, almonds, and bits of pancetta. On the opposite end of the taste spectrum, a poached egg shakshouka—a hefty tomato-based stew—is studded with creamy sweetbreads. The flatbread with squash blossoms and mild Syrian cheese spent a tad too much time in the oven, but no one could argue with its crispness. Desserts take the same Mediterranean cues—our favorite layers dates, mascarpone, drizzles of Turkish coffee, and amaretti in a parfait. // 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. (310-657-4103 or mezzela.com). D nightly. Full bar. Mediterranean   $$