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Pita Kitchen - Sherman Oaks.

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pmcdonald Nov 20, 2006 06:31 AM

I would have to say that the food there is not that good. The Chicken shwarma was not tasty at all IMO they over spiced it with cumin and it needed salt. The humus was to be desired, again... no flavor. My dining partner order the Kafta wrap and was not impressed either. What do people like about this place? There was a long line to order. I am a big fan of middle eastern food and I've been to several middle eastern restaurants in the valley. I would say "Pita Kitchen" ranks the lowest on my list. I've read and heard great reviews about this place. I was very disappointed :(

My top 5 middle eastern joints are:

1. Zankou
2. Carnival
3. Cedar house (Riverside Drive)
4. Haig's Kabob House (Vanowen)
5. Skaf's Lebanese Grill

  1. b
    BearCity Nov 20, 2006 07:17 AM

    I don't vouch for the chicken shawarma. I stick with beef/lamb shawarma or beef kabob and always love the results. Their pitas are store-bought and their rice is boring, but they do red meat quite well.

    I would take Pita Kitchen over Zankou any day of the week.

    1. m
      markn Nov 20, 2006 03:17 PM

      A friend of mine is Israeli, he RAVES about Pita Kitchen. Every time we go to lunch we have to go there. I find it to be ok but I don't know what the fuss is about. I would take it over Zankou though.

      Try Alcazar in Encino, I think it's currently the best Middle Eastern in LA.

      1. p
        pmcdonald Nov 20, 2006 05:11 PM

        I would have to disagree that Pita Kitchen is better than Zankou. The food at Zankou has much more flavor, the chicken Tarna plate is full of flavor and their beef shwarma ranks high in the flavor category as well. Pita kitchen was very bland... nothing stood out, I didn't get the "Wow this is good!" like I did when I first went to Zankou. I've been to Alcazar and it's good, way better than Pita Kitchen. Alcazar didn't make my top 5 list though.

        6 Replies
        1. re: pmcdonald
          m
          markn Nov 20, 2006 09:39 PM

          Haha come on now....

          First of all Zankou is not a Middle Eastern restaurant, it's basically a rotisserie chicken joint that happens to serve hummus (and their hummus is average at best).

          And comparing Zankou to Alcazar is like comparing Olive Garden to Valentino or Angelini Osteria.

          1. re: markn
            p
            pmcdonald Nov 20, 2006 09:50 PM

            I didn't compare Zankou to Alcazar. My comparison was to Pita Kitchen. I've been to Alcazar and it was OK, I would say that Carnival is better than Alcazar IMO.

            1. re: pmcdonald
              m
              markn Nov 20, 2006 10:00 PM

              No but you did say that Zankou was your top Middle Eastern place and Alcazar didn't make the top 5. So indirectly you did compare them.

              Any list of Middle Eastern places in LA that doesn't have Alcazar in the top 5 is not credible IMO.

              1. re: markn
                p
                pmcdonald Nov 20, 2006 10:16 PM

                My top 5 are of places that made an impression on me... I really enjoyed the food and I have returned to those places several times. Alcazar did not impress me. It doesn't cross my mind when I'm in the mood for middle eastern. The people I went with are big middle eastern food fans and got the same impression. Sorry to hurt your feelings.

                1. re: pmcdonald
                  m
                  markn Nov 20, 2006 10:41 PM

                  Haha no hurt feelings here. I was just offering a differing viewpoint. I am Lebanese, been eating Lebanese food since I was a baby (too many years to count). At Alcazar you will find a lot of Lebanese specialties you won't find at most places. Stuff like kibbeh nayeh (raw kibbeh), habra nayeh, chicken livers in pomegranite sauce, Lebanese sausages, frogs legs (which you can also get at Marouch). And the traditional stuff like hummous, baba ghannouj, fatayer, fatoosh etc. are beautifully made and perfectly spiced. If you go there you will notice that the majority of the patrons are Middle Eastern, that's no accident.

                  And after dinner you can sit outside and have some coffee and arak and smoke the hookah. Good stuff.

                  1. re: markn
                    p
                    pmcdonald Nov 20, 2006 10:48 PM

                    I'll give Alcazar another try... I must of been there on an off day. The restaurant is nice, I'll give them that.

                    But back to my original post.. Pita Kitchen is not that good!

        2. maybelle Nov 20, 2006 05:12 PM

          The hummus is a bit bitter... why would that be? And yes, agree that their pita is dry and hard and really not very good at all.

          I've heard about their legendary home-made hot sauce but have not yet tried it. Is it really that good?

          1. c
            coco puff Nov 20, 2006 08:37 PM

            I like their hummous w/fava beans as a side dish.
            and also their hummous w/sauteed mushrooms.

            their beef kabobs and beef/lamp shwarma are pretty good too.

            1. b
              Baby Ruth Nov 20, 2006 11:31 PM

              I like it for the lamb/beef sharma in lafa wraps. get it with minimal tabouleh, regular hummus and hot sauce. it's good. totally different than zankou. zankou is for chicken. this is for the beef/lamb.

              i've heard the kabobs are dry.

              1. davinagr Nov 21, 2006 03:18 PM

                I love Pita Kitchen and lets be fair about comparisons. Pita kitchen is a take out joint at best, not a fine sit down restaurant. It's fast, healthy and generally tasty. The portions are huge for the price, also a great protein source for those on low carb diets.

                I agree they do a good job with the beef, I always get the filet mignon beef kabob with greek salad and baba ghannouj as sides which are both very tasty. They marinate the beef and I specifically order it medium rare which is much more flavorful than cooked medium or medium-well which is their default unless requested otherwise. Also love their baklava as a desert, they make it there and generally serve it warm. I find it delish.

                1. Hypnotic23 Nov 22, 2006 03:26 AM

                  I had such a hard time reading negative feedback about Pita Kitchen since this has been one of my favs for years. Tonight I ate there and it was like night & day, such a terrible meal. First off, the young Israelie son who runs the place wasn't working. Usually 90% of the time he'll be there and when he's not its ran poorly. This visit my gyro wrap meat was on the spit way to long and the meat wasn't tender rather hard with a crunch as well as my side of grape leaves which I've complained about in the past where the rice was to hard. I dont think I'll return.

                  Stuart

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