La Marsa in Farmington Hills brings Middle Eastern cuisine and flair to Metro Detroit.

Photos courtesy of Stefani Chudnow

If you’ve lived in Metro Detroit as long as I have, you’re probably a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine. Whether this is because of your Israeli family who lives in town, your favorite local restaurant or a taste for foreign fare, you need to take your taste buds on a journey to La Marsa.

While the West Bloomfield location of this local eatery has been my family’s go-to takeout place for years now, I was recently able to experience their Farmington Hills location for the first time. Though I had an idea of what to expect food-wise, my typical dining experience was made more worthwhile by the chance to see this restaurant from a completely different perspective.

To get the best sense for the variety that La Marsa has to offer, we tried to diversify our typical order. Rather than a salad, we opted for the lentil soup, hummus and vegetarian grape leaves. As expected, the lentil soup was everything you’d want a lentil soup to be — light while being filling, and flavorful without being overpowering. Along with its paprika-dusted hummus, the lentil soup tastes especially magnificent when eaten with its world-class pita. I recommend getting a dozen pitas to take home, along with a side of unusually delightful hummus. Make sure to throw some olive oil on top of La Marsa’s hummus for that quintessential pita-indulging experience.

For the main course, we chose a half order of chicken breasts with almond rice. Although simple, its chicken breasts make excellent usage of a blend of Middle Eastern spices in addition to a natural grilling flavor that, when combined, is difficult to mimic. The chicken provides a perfect vessel for gathering up La Marsa’s almond rice, which I could probably eat buckets of. Pair the chicken and rice with its pure garlic paste and hummus, and you’ll have a flavor festival in your mouth that will leave you craving more.

Though I didn’t get a side salad on this particular trip to La Marsa, I have full faith in it. Whenever we order La Marsa from the West Bloomfield location, I always ask for extra dressing with our side salad so I can use it over the following weeks. It’s that good.

Even if Mediterranean food isn’t your favorite, La Marsa has a wide enough offering so everyone can enjoy a meal there. Of course, this includes specialty beverages and desserts. Not only does it have a variety of raw juices and smoothies to enjoy during your meal, but it also has rice pudding and baklava if you’re in the mood for something a little sweeter.

While you could do what my family usually does and order La Marsa to go, you should make plans to go to the actual restaurant in Farmington Hills. Alongside quick service and friendly staff, the soothing Mediterranean-inspired music in the background provides an ideal setting for a relaxing meal.

The relaxing environment and interior decorations at the Farmington Hills location make your average Middle Eastern restaurant look like any other fast food joint. With multiple chandeliers cascading from the ceiling, wooden detailing and stunning tile work coupled with the background music and scrumptious cuisine, you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped from a strip mall in Metro Detroit to a seaside Mediterranean cafe.

La Marsa

24273 Middlebelt Road, Farmington Hills

(248) 473-9900

lamarsacuisine.com

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