The first thing that might come to mind when one hears "Nutella Hummus" is a wacky dessert spinoff of the classic dip, likely perched atop a Trader Joe's or health store fridge shelf.
At Hummus Labs in Pasadena, however, chef and owner Joseph Badaro is giving the sweet treat a serious flavor punch while holding true to the traditions of the original dish.
It's definitely the most eye-catching on name, and even Lebanese Foodbeast Marc, who walked in to Hummus Labs wary, found himself surprised and delighted by what this Nutella hummus had to offer.
The Nutella Hummus also comes with cinnamon sugar pita chips, cut and fried daily by the Hummus Labs team for a snackable experience that elevates both hummus and dessert.
For Badaro, hummus is the canvas on which he can brush creative flavors into, and Nutella is just one of the many varieties he has in his arsenal.
He's got a whole cavalcade of savory spins on the chickpea paste as well, with Cilantro Jalapeño, Tomato Habanero, and Beet Dill just some of the unique takes on offer. You can grab one, or a pack of four, alongside a bag of savory pita chips spiced with sumac and more.
What doesn't change between flavors is how the base paste is made, and for that, Badaro sticks to tradition. He soaks the chickpeas overnight, boils them, and grinds them down himself every single day.
The hummus menu rotates daily, but the ultimate goal for Badaro is to be the "quintessential hummus sales" in Los Angeles and beyond.
Badaro isn't settling for just being known for hummus, however. He's also making spins on other Middle Eastern classics. His shawarma nachos, for example, are a treat that has social media clamoring.
Made from pita chips, filet mignon (or chicken) spiced and cooked down with tomatoes, tahini, and a hummus or dip of your choice, it's unlike any nachos or shawarma meal you've tried before. We went with filet and spicy labne above, but going for other options like chicken and a healthy scoop of toum (fresh garlic paste) is just as flavorsome.
Badaro has hinted at even more fun creations coming down the line, and is always taking input from his customers on what to cook up next. His wizardry in the hummus and Mediterranean food game makes the "Labs" part of his restaurant's name quite fitting.
To check out the full story on Badaro and Hummus Labs, peep the full Foodbeast video on the restaurant at the top of this story.