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help me find a kebab place...that is not carousel!

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Let's see extremely rude service, tough filet mignon, rice-a-roni, steamed "charred" tomatoes...this was the third and last time I will ever return to this place. The food and service is HORRIBLE!!! Plesae help me find a restaurant serving good persian/middle eastern food without the insulting treatment. I do like Raffi's Place, but help me find a place outside of Glendale!

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  1. Marouch in Hollywood (on Santa Monica Blvd.) Not in the best location (it's in a strip mall) but the food and service are both great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Obessed

      I second Marouch....food is great!

    2. One of the best Kabab places I have been to is Rafi's in glendale. I think that its on Broadway just above Central or Brand (I always get those two street confused.

      Anyway, its a Persian restaurant owned by Persian Armenians. But they only have Kebab and some starters. They do not have the various Persian stew and rice dishes.

      My recent/soon to be ex wife is Persian so I have been to a ton of places and I thought it was the best in terms of kebab, and so does her family.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mattesq

        Did you read the original post?

        1. re: Diana

          Sorry. I'm a bonehead. Didn't read the entire post.

          1. re: mattesq

            you made me want to try it!

            1. re: locklite

              So I am somewhat redeemed. That's good.

      2. I've had great meals at Carnival on Woodman and Moorpark, in Sherman Oaks. It tends to be crowded, but the line goes quickly.

        My experiences at the other Carousel on Hollywood have been really good - have you tried that branch ?

        3 Replies
        1. re: stuartontour

          I was at the Carousel on Hollywood over the holidays. The place was a little homey but the service and food were fine. Was it the best ever? No, not everything was perfect but overall very good. My reference besides restaurants, a fair amount of home cooked Middle Eastern food.

          I don't know, maybe it was what you ordered? Kebabs are really only 30% of the total meal/experience. The soups, veggies and spreads (muhammara, roasted peppers and walnuts) were excellent. Hummus and the other standards, only okay.

          BTW, I still can't figure out if it's Lebanese or Armenian.

          1. re: stuartontour

            I second Carnival. I also like their chicken shwarma sandwich and hummus.

            I also like the chicken kebab at Sunnin on Westwood Blvd. @ Santa Monica Blvd.

            1. re: navystreet

              Third the rec for Carnival. Great tender, moist chicken.

          2. I like Javan in West LA, and Green Cottage in Woodland Hills for Persian kabob. The latter, aside from great food and the obligatory huge portions, has a homey family-run feel, and pickled garlic (yum).

            1 Reply
            1. re: tannazie

              I agree - Javan is a safe bet. Also, try shamshiri, shahrzad and a new one: "baran"...it's pretty good.

            2. Totally agree about your assessment of Carousel. For the anti-Carousel (fantastic meat, incredible hummus, fragrant basmati rice, real grilled tomatoes, but also a bit lacking in the decor dept.) go to Skaf's Grill on the NE corner of Laurel Canyon and Oxnard in NoHo.

              Get anything off the specials menu. I've been going there between once and four times a week for more than six years now.

              1. I agree with Skaf's, but for something closer to Glendale, there's a kabob place in the mini-mall just west of the Eagle Rock plaza that's really good and the people are very nice. It's Armenian.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hpcat

                  Well, there's also Cafe Bravo on Glenoaks in Glendale, near Sonora St. Not quite Skaf's but quite tasty. Armenian-owned.

                2. There is the Halal place on Colorado across the street from Pasadena City College...Ali Baba?

                  1. It's Heida Baba. One of my favorites but I am not a Kabab expert. I really like Shish Kabab and lentil soup there. Ph. 626-844-7970.

                    1. If you do want to stay in Glendale, Elena's Greek Armenian has really good chicken shish kebob, although I haven't tried their beef. It's affordable and the other things I've tried there (felafel, various mezze) have been good, too -- it would be worth a try on the beef.

                      Elena's Greek Armenian
                      1000 S. Glendale
                      Glendale, CA

                      Outside of Glendale, Mediterranean Cafe off of Lake Ave in Pasadena has really delicious kabobs and shwarma.

                      Mediterranean Cafe
                      273 Shopper's Lane
                      Pasadena, CA
                      626-793-8844

                      I think the strong suits at both Marrouch (Hollywood) and Carousel (Hollywood branch) are their mezze rather than their kabobs.

                      1. Another great one is Tarijsh (sp?) on Washington Blvd. in Marina del Rey / Venice. Incredibly tender chicken kebobs and the best sour cherry rice I've tasted EVER. It's a small place, the owner is very nice, never busy, but the food is unbelieveably good. Everyone I've taken has loved it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SurfWriteEat

                          It's Tajrish. North side of Washington Bl. opposite the atrociously rebuilt strip mall. Good Persian, but better IMHO are Javan and Shahrzad. But both are far from Glendale. For Persian kebabs in Glendale you can try Shamshiri (Central near Stocker, if I recall correctly). Seating is a little tight but the food is good.
                          We used to go to Mandaloun for mezze and Lebanese/Armenian food but it has gone downhill on the service and cleanliness side. On our last visit pigeons were all over the main dining room--I kid you not!

                        2. get the chelo barg kebab at shahrzad on Westwood.

                          1. I've been to Shahrzad on Westwood several times. excellent!!!!
                            second that

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: artxprt

                              Shahrzad is delicious -- they have delicious kabobs.

                            2. Try Golden Skewer in Montebello ... off of Beverly Blvd and Wilcox ... next to Amy's Bakery (also a good place to visit)... they make a very good latte.

                              1. Wow, I seem to have had inverse experiences at Carousel & Raffi's. I've eaten at the Hollywood Blvd Carousel 5 times in the past 2 months and each meal has been outstanding. Every mezze dish has been right on the money and I think the kebabs are excellent. The only klinker I've found is the Yogurt Lamb. Service is certainly not warm & fuzzy, but I've never had a problem with them & everyone I bring there loves it. Hard to believe the Glendale location is so bad, but I haven't been there yet.
                                Raffi's, on the other hand, I've only been to twice and will not be returning. The courtyard atmoshpere is nice (Carousel is definitely lacking in that department, but who cares when the food is good), but everything I've eaten there has been mediocre. The kebabs, especially, were rather bland and very expensive.
                                I've also found Marouch to be nothing special.
                                Sorry to be so contrary & good luck on the kebab hunt.

                                1. Ditto with Mediterranean Cafe in Pasadena. Great kebabs. They have beef, chicken, lamb and ground beef kebabs. They serve it with a greek-style salad, rice pilaf, really good humus and pita. They also have a great garlic sauce (ala Zankou) and some nice chili sauce/paste.

                                  This is primarily a lunch place. They close at 7:00 p.m. Its a small place with only a few tables. You walk up to the counter and order. You can see the griiling going on. Lots of us take the food to go.

                                  I also been to this place called Saharra on Colorado in Pasadena. They grill the kebabs on mesquite and serve grilled tomatoes and some sort of fresh cheese stuff.

                                  1. In the San Fernando Valley, I like Shirin in Woodland Hills. Parking *might* be tricky, but I have good parking karma, so I've never had a problem.

                                    I also like Char Fasl in Agoura Hills, but that's creeping up on Conejo Valley already.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                                      Hmmm..I've wanted to venture in to Shirin many times (but never somehow never have)...what's it like and what do you get there?

                                      1. re: candee

                                        It's on Ventura Blvd just east of Topanga, on the south side of the street across from the Vons and Rite Aid. Big glass windows overlooking the boulevard give it a bright, cheery vibe during the day, and while I've never gone for dinner, I believe that some nights they have live music.

                                        I think their stews are great. I just get the tahdig with two of whatever stews that made that day. My friends all love their filet mignon, which I think is quite good, too, but I gots to have me some crispy rice!

                                    2. Agree about Carousel, particularly the Hollywood location.

                                      Good service and good kebabs outside Glendale:

                                      Golden Fork on Santa Monica and the 101
                                      Golden Fish on Hollywood near Normandie
                                      Marouch (as mentioned above) is also quite good.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: lil mikey

                                        Bizarre. I've always enjoyed the Carousel in Hollywood, but the first time we went the waitress was particularly solicitous. That, and our habit of eating there on a regular basis, might have shaped our impressions. My wife hates the one in Glendale and has exactly the same comments as the original poster -- rude service, ordinary food, etc.

                                        Marouch was pretty ordinary the time we went there. We like Sahara, but we like the original Carousel better than either. No accounting for taste, I'm afraid. (We do need to try Phoenicia, though -- meant to go on Tuesday with my folks, but they live near Griffith Park and were evacuated about 30 minutes before our planned meal time. The anxiety would probably have overshadowed even the greatest meal, so we decided to reschedule. Perhaps one of the people in this thread will chip in with their experience thereabouts, or be motivated to try it now.)

                                        1. re: ttriche

                                          strange: i've always had the kindest of service at Carousel in glendale.

                                          Olympia kebab in the valley has a meat market next to the nice restaurant.
                                          raffi is ordinary, however.

                                      2. Sahara in Pasadena. Lebanese-Armenian folks with a zest for all that is kebabish...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          Sahara is run by an Armenian family. The "cheese stuff" you refer to I assume is the side plate of feta, olives, and cucumbers that comes with the kabob plates. The kabob plates also come with either cabbage salad or lentil soup. I find the chicken bland, but the lamb and beef nicely done. In addition to the tomato you mentioned above, there's a green pepper and onion, nicely charred on that mesquite. Their menu could be a tad more flexible and longer, but it's very consistent, and the kids are all friendly (the owners kids all work there), and the cooks are great. I do wish the tahini had more garlic and lemon, it's a little bland.

                                          The babaganoush is good too, as are the falafel. I like their appetizers for the most part.

                                        2. i realize you are looking for a kebab restaurant however if you are ever interested in making kebab's I have the place for the meat - it is called garni meat market on washington west of allen blvd. beats any of these places in terms of quality and sorry you have to cook it but it is really good- as for restaurants there is a kabab express down the block on washington near alta dena drive but I have found that most of these places oversalt their dishes and another one is a nicer restaurant but still very casual called Sahara on Colorado Blvd that is armenian

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kmgsun

                                            I am fond of Shish Kebab Express in Altadena. The chicken-thigh kebab is outstanding, the herby felafel patties are nice and the fattoush salad is bounteous and good. Very cheap, and they deliver.

                                          2. traktir/west LA
                                            rafi/glendale
                                            skaf's/valley
                                            carnival/valley

                                            LB

                                            1. Cayenne on Beverly Blvd. just west of La Brea has good kebabs. They have very good food, a lot of middle eastern food. They have a grilled chicken breast with a walnut pomegranate sauce that is to die for. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their prices are real reasonable.
                                              I eat at the Carousel on Hollywood and enjoy it. Marouch is okay but I prefer Carousel.

                                              1. I third Mediterranean Cafe in P-town, but it has short hours.
                                                You might also want to try California Skewers up the street on Lake. Kebabs are pretty much all they serve.