“You’re alone?” are the first words you hear walking into Mediterranean cuisine, Timna, on a Saturday night. Upon entrance, soothing chords of acoustic guitars serenade the candlelit dining room with thick tables, rimmed with rich mahogany and an oak center. On each table sits a small candle hovering in a mason jar and a variety of recycled milk bottles, holding white tulips. Over each table there are lights, which look like upside down stir-fry pans with a netted shelter covering the bulbs. The walls are brick, faded as if someone dusted powdered cocoa over the rust exterior. It is the type of restaurant only committed couples go to, since the place pleads for romantic conversation.
With a weekly rotating menu, Timna flaunts diversity in their dishes portioned for two. Made by only one chef, Nir Mesika, the eccentric spices of Timna prance across your pallet. The first dish, Sunchoke Cappuccino ($8), comes in a wide mug on a cool, uneven slab of slate. While the name sounds like a yoga enthusiast’s coffee shop, the flavors will indeed bring you towards your “zen.” Shaved layers of black truffle sprawl across the frothy, overflowing mixture, and bits of garlic bob with each sip. While the name throws you for a loop, the smell is the truly unwinding experience. The smell is foul, like three week old broccoli with condensation on the walls of the to-go container. However, the first sips of the warm foam settle in your mouth, and the flavor of heavy cream lingers. The black truffle tastes like aged leather, yet below the surface, the texture changes to unstirred paint. The flavor hints towards a pureed cauliflower, with a savory butter coating.
As a comparison to the creamy flavoring, there is the Mediterranean Sashimi ($17). Delivered in a bowl, your eyes are immediately drawn to the centered seashell green sauce with streams of oil. The decadent dish flashes like a peacock’s feathers, as the tuna sashimi lays on a bed of rainbow tabouli (a fancy word for something that tastes like rice). Each slice of tuna is topped with a dollop of sauce, the color of sunflowers and the taste of gummy bears. Towering from the top of that sauce are sheer slices of beets, resembling chards of stained glass. That grainy platform of tabouli offers a variety of flavors, and adding a refreshing taste, curls of cucumbers soak in green balsamic vinaigrette flavored sauce, along with thinly peeled slices of radishes.
Another healthy option is Cauliflower ($14). While the name may leave you wondering what the dish mainly represents, it comes with three cauliflower, leaning like martyred trees over charred crisps of salted quinoa. The tips are roasted golden, like a bonfire marshmallow. Blanketing the cauliflower is a bloated artichoke, dripping in a harsh vinaigrette. A curry yogurt is raked across the plate, with a similar taste to capers. Small strips of pickled onion dazzle the plate with a pop of color, while also being sharply acidic. As it sits in your mouth, the flavor is like microwaved copper, foreign against your tongue. After finishing this, if your face is not slightly distorted from the bitterness, your bite was insufficient.
Clothed in formal white shirts and tucked into sharp black aprons, Timna’s servers are professional and extremely attentive. As they pour your drink, with one hand tucked behind their backs, it is hard to resist the feeling of royalty. With its elegant atmosphere, Timna accommodates all types of customers. They even scramble to find an alternative travel package for the single customer with leftovers.