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Dining Spotlight: Dizengoff

“hummusiya-  /noun/ a restaurant serving only or primarily hummus”

Before CookNSolo’s new restaurant, Dizengoff, opened in The Sansom apartment complex just steps from Rittenhouse Square last month, we weren’t even aware that hummusiyas existed. A restaurant that specializes in hummus is a new and interesting idea for us Philly foodies, and I couldn’t wait to check out the menu. (All the information you get online is that they serve a rotating selection of hummus with fresh-baked pita, seasonal salads, and Israeli pickles. Definitely a kitschy new concept!)

Unlike Michael Solomonov, we grew up in America where hummusiyas are basically unheard of… hummus as a product only became crazy popular in the last fifteen years. Hailing from Israel, Solomonov is no newbie to hummus, and the connoisseur first wowed locals when he paired up with Steve Cook to launch Old City’s nationally acclaimed modern Israeli restaurant, Zahav. The CookNSolo restaurant group also includes Federal Donuts, Percy Street Barbeque, and Abe Fisher.

Of late, CookNSolo has been making big moves on the Philly food scene, and opening Diz has certainly shaken things up on Sansom Street and beyond. Unless you’re familiar with terms such as tehina and fattoush, feel free to ask for help from the friendly staff to decode the very limited menu. If you’re still a little nervous after ordering, don’t be. The food here is incredible – trust me, you can’t go wrong.

The freshly made pita bread is a taste of floury carb heaven; the beer selection is extremely limited but of top quality; and the hummus is nothing like what you find at the grocery store in those plastic containers. It’s light, super smooth, creamy and, in a word, perfect. If you’re used to a variety of flavors and choices, relax. You will soon realize that this hummus needs no accoutrements. As everything is made in-house daily, you would expect the food to be incredibly fresh. The crazy thing about Diz is that it closes up shop almost every day before 4 p.m. because they are running out of food.

I’ve seen this all too familiar sign on the door almost every afternoon I’ve walked by. It may take a couple of tries to get seated, but once you’ve there, prepare to be blown away by the simplicity of these dishes. Get ready to enjoy fabulous food at price points unheard of nearby this Rittenhouse location, and get ready to get there early… or face the sad sign from Diz telling you to try again tomorrow.

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