By Denise Ortuno

For a quick get-away to immerse yourself in Mediterranean fare, take a trip to Evzin in Palm Desert.

On a Monday afternoon, it may be a busy start of the week for some, but at Evzin bistro in Palm Desert, created and owned by John and Maria Tsoutis, the vibe is relaxed and tranquil. The enchanting rhythmic guitar music hanging in the air above the intimate dining space, sets the stage for a delicious Mediterranean culinary trip.

The seat I took by the opened front door gave me a pleasant view of the tree lined patio, as well as providing a nice breeze. I felt refreshed and light…wait, am I on vacation? Alas no, but for a minute there, Evzin’s made me feel as if I was.

Although Evzin offers a limited yet poignant selection of wine and beer, I ordered a cool iced tea. The menu peeked my appetite with many of their selections. I bounced around from their Starter section with their Greek Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, Kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta, red wine vinaigrette), Roasted Beet Salad (herb roasted beets, goat cheese, walnut crumbs, sumac red wine vinaigrette), Tabboulesh Salad (red quinoa, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, red & green onions, citrus vinaigrette) Octopus Salad  (grilled Spanish octopus, black eyed beans, tomatoes, cucumber, blistered green beans, sumac lemon vinaigrette), and from their Pita/Plates section with the Shawarma Spiced Lamb ( burnt eggplant, mango chutney, red onion, tomatoes, tahini).

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I went for the Shawarma Spiced Lamb, once the server explained that I could get a little bit of the roasted beets and tabboulesh salad with it if I ordered it as a plate. Perfect! The colorful plate was placed in front of me in all of its Mediterranean glory, and I honestly didn’t know where to start….it all looked so appetizing. I began with a bite of the flavorful lamb, just lightly drizzled with the tahini, and dipped it into the mango chutney. The blend of the sweet chutney and spiced lamb components danced on my tongue…what would I combine next? I dove into the tabboulesh salad, and found myself going back to it over and over again. The roasted beets were another element of the arrangement that I completely enjoyed. The pita bread served as an edible utensil, making my fork almost obsolete. It was all so fresh, and I couldn’t help but think that I was eating healthy. I was not only all chilled out, but comfortably sated as well.

The Main section of Evzin’s menu also had many attractive dishes, such as the Full Rack of Lamb (marinated in red wine, garlic, fresh Mediterranean herbs, hand cut fries), Spanish Fideo (Spanish chorizo, wild gulf shrimp, Mediterranean mussels, smoked paprika aioli, farm fresh eggs) and Moroccan Grilled Salmon ( red chard, root vegetable couscous, citrus beet salsa) as well as others.

Evzin is opened daily for lunch and dinner and also has a location in Palm Springs at the Caliente Tropics Resort.

If you’re looking for a little Mediterranean afternoon or evening culinary get-away, then you must stop by Evzin. Even if you’re not on vacation, you will feel like you were. 

Evzin is located at 72695 Hwy 111 A6, Palm Desert, 92260

For more information visit www.evzincuisine.com