After watching Independence Day: Resurgence during opening weekend on June 26, 2016, my dad and I walked over to Simon Café with my sneaking premonition that the restaurant was still closed until further notice. Shockingly, the doors were open under a new name, Mizlala, and a new design. Immediately my dad and I searched for Chef Simon but to no avail. However, we did discover his son, Chef Danny Elmaleh, who has opened his sophomore self-branded restaurant in his father’s former, unassuming location after debuting at Cleo in Hollywood. Chef Danny possesses the striking humility as his father and, of course, the same extraordinary talent in the kitchen but with an innovative modern twist to the tradition. I asked Chef Danny how he came up with the name of the restaurant and he said that his father named it after a Hebrew word meaning “Pig Out.” Suffice it to say, that is exactly what my dad and I did on this first of many future visits.
Much like our times with Chef Simon and, nostalgically, with our own parents and grandparents over a family meal, Chef Danny and his wife share time with their guests, genuinely caring for the bond we share with them, the food and being at home. Chef Danny is preserving with honorable fortitude his father’s munificent legacy while setting a culinary precedent with creative, accessible, delicious, home bound, and culturally rich food. Upon reflection of my experience at Mizlala, I realize that there is so much hope and inspiration for all of us to renew the deep-seeded connection that we should all experience with our loved ones when we eat together.
Mizlala is open for dinner only from Tuesday through Sunday with lunch service to be added at a future date. Given the unassuming location at 4515 Sepulveda across the street from the Whole Foods, please note that there is plenty of parking in the back of the building.