Owner of Tal’s Hummus Opens New Restaurant, Misa, Featuring Experimental Mediterranean Cuisine

Squid Ink Pasta / Source: Misa

While some restaurant owners were trying to figure out the best way to navigate the Covid 19 pandemic, Tal Sharon, owner of Tal’s Hummus, 4800 Magazine St., had other plans. When the building next door to the Uptown favorite known for its Israeli-inspired cuisine, including hummus and an array of sandwiches served on soft pita, went up for sale, Sharon jumped at the chance to open another kind of restaurant. 

While Tal’s Hummus serves traditional Mediterranean food, Misa, 4734 Magazine St., Sharon’s other restaurant, mixes things up with a menu that constitutes the flavors of India, Italy, France, and Morocco. 

Sharon started cooking when he was a teenager in kitchens around Tel Aviv. He attended culinary school and worked throughout the city. He owned a restaurant in Tel Aviv and then relocated to Costa Rica to pursue his other passion, surfing.

He cooked in New York in 2015 before moving to New Orleans, where he worked as a sous chef at Doris Metropolitan. The desire to share the food from his native Israel drove him to open Tal’s Hummus in 2016. 

Tal’s Hummus basks in the traditional, but Misa, named after Sharon’s grandmother, could be called experimental. The menu is beautiful, with pasta and poultry seated comfortably next to fried calamari, spring rolls, and a lengthy vegetarian menu. Starters include Roasted Labneh Cauliflower, Golden Crispy Calamari, and Grilled Lamb Kabob.

The menus here change with the season, with current entrée highlights including Half Roasted Chicken with garlic, lemon, and herbs with fresh veggies; Melted Beef Cheek Stew on a bed of polenta; and Sweet Potato Ravioli with feta, spinach mascarpone filling, and harissa sauce. 

Sweet Potato Ravioli / Source: Misa

Pasta options include Black Squid Ink Seafood Pasta with scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and avocado oil harissa white wine sauce and Grilled Ribeye Pasta with stir-fried vegetables, seasoned garlic chili olive oil, and fresh herbs. On my visit, I enjoyed the Chicken Tomato Pesto Pasta made with sauteed chicken in a homemade tomato pesto sauce. It was a dish that wasn’t heavy and perfectly paired with bread and the calamari I enjoyed as my appetizer.

While Tal’s Hummus is a BYOB establishment, Misa boasts cocktails such as Sexy Fish, made with Dark Rum, Pineapple, Peychaud’s Apperitivo, and Lemon; The Porch, made with Titos Handmade Vodka, Peach Tea, Aperol, and Lemon; and Spicy Margarita made with Spicy Tequila, Mezcal, Lime, and Jalapeno. 

Misa’s atmosphere is all about feel-good vibes with an open-air space that lets the day in, perfect for sitting before a parade or relaxing on a lovely New Orleans spring afternoon.

Spring rolls / Source: Misa

Suppose you tend to lean more on the side of traditional Mediterranean fare. In that case, Tal’s Hummus is just a few steps away with a menu that boasts Pita Schnitzel, a pita sandwich with tenderized and breaded deep-fried chicken, Israeli salad, s’rug, tahini, and pickles; Pita Jerusalem, a pita sandwich stuffed with grilled beef kebab, grilled chicken, grilled chicken liver, Israeli salad, s’rug, and tahini; and Mediterranean Chicken Platter, marinated and grilled chicken thighs served with hummus, fries, Israeli salad, pickles, and a choice of two white or whole wheat pitas.

Misa is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Tal’s Hummus is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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