Mama Voula's or Papadakis?
Ok, hounds. When I get obsessed... I get OBSESSED. After all the chatter on the boards about Greek food, I went on a whirlwind tour of Greek restos. I found each endearing for individual reasons; some had better something than another. Full report on that later.
But now I'm running out of steam, and want to hit Mama Voula's or Papadakis. And I'm torn.
I think most would prefer Papadakis. My dad hung out with the owner a few times and says the guy sometimes flies fish overnight from Greece so it's fresh in his restaurant.
With any of the Greek "-pitas", there are two kinds of filo dough, the super thin kind, and then the "spitiko" filo (which means "from the house") which is homemade, much thicker, hardier, labor intensive, and in my opinion much tastier, and might me mistaken for puff pastry. Although I doubt that Mama Voulas took the time to make spanikopita with spitiko filo dough, that might be the "puff pastry" culprit.
You're comparing apples to oranges here. Mama Voula's which we happen to like...great rack of lamb chops for very reasonable price. Small non descript spot. Papadakis is a much fancier, pricer,as I recall "first date" type place with white linen tablecloths.
We ended up at Papadakis. Part of my reasoning was an ad on craig's list for watiers at Mama Voula's. It was truly one of the funnies things I've ever seen. (here's a link http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/...)
Although I love seeing a surly old Greek woman yell at her staff any day, I was really in the mood for something else.
I agree with what Fresser said. Papadakis is a great first date place. Belly dancer, dancing waiters, fun atmosphere. Very cheery. The owner shook my SO's hand when we walked in; the server was the guy's son, and took great care of us. He was very casual, funny, a lot of hand placing on the shoulder when he talked to us. I don't mind that kind of thing, but if you do, let it be known: Very tactile people.
Food was quite good, more high-priced than what I was looking for, but good quality. We tried some appetizers: Spanikopita was really good, made with whole fresh leaf spinach; you can tell. Triopita was very tangy. Saganaki, although the flame was big, we both agreed it wasn't melted long enough. I like it to stay soft for longer than it did. The taramasolta and tzatziki, on the table when we arrived, were both unique to the resto. The tara dip wasn't whipped, just red caviar crushed with breadcrumbs, lemon, olive oil. It was delicious. Tzatziki was overflowing with cucumber flavor but not with big cucumber chunks. Loved it. Avgolemeno soup comes with each entree, and although I haven't had at a lot of other restos, this was very nice, light, lemony. I've seen them thicker, and liked this version. Salad you get with entrees looked like iceberg with feta; we asked for "village" salad instead, just cukes, tomatoes, olives, onions, feta and olive oil. I didn't like the tomatoes; at a time of year when tomatoes are at their best, these were average and kind of flavorless. Also, i missed the vinegar, but came to find out that a real Greek salad, in Greece, probably wouldn't have vinegar either. Just olive oil. Anyway, it was good, just too many of the not so great tomatoes.
We both ordered lamb, SO had chops, I had lamb loin souvlaki. The potatoes you get are so freaking good, really lemony and garlicky. Baklava for dessert; there's isn't really dense, but rather light, if that's possible. Tall, lots of phyllo, lots of walnuts, but not so much a paste between the phyllo sheets. Very good. Greek coffee, medium thank you, comes in a regular size coffee cup, so watch out!
Price was around $140 with tax and tip. We ordered a lot, took some food home, and had a great time. It's just a very familial fun place. And I've never been to San Pedro, so it was fun checking it out.