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Lebanese Kitchen Pasadena

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So I finally went and tried this place for dinner based on all the rave reviews. I was however extremely disappointed.

They didn't even heat the cheap mass produced pita bread. It just sat there in the basket as cold as it was when they removed it from its plastic bag. I knew at that point things weren't going to get any better. The hummus was OK. The tabouleh was not bad. But the main dishes, a lamb kebab and a shwarma, were about the worst middle eastern food I've had in ages. Food was unispired, extremely salty, and the lamb was dry as a bone. The rice pilaf, which was almost as cold as the pita bread, was a joke; I'd have been better off buying a box of it at the store and making it myself. And the amount of not very good tahini poured all over the shwarma didn't mask the total lack of flavor (except the flavor of salt, did I mention the salt?)

Add to this the unpleasantly austere environment. It's like they couldn't decide if they wanted to be a hole in the wall or a decent restaurant, and so the place remains in some kind of limbo between the two. Then there was that top notch service: the waitress literally threw the food on the table (when it finally arrived) and was otherwise extremely unpleasant.

Not worth the time, not worth the money, not worth the high salt intake. Too bad, as it is within walking distance of my house. I'll pay the extra money and head out to Glendale when i want Lebanese or Armenian food.

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  1. Went there last week and I sadly have to agree with your review. The place was completly empty at 6:30pm on a Friday night, so that should have given me some idea of what was to come, however having read such great reviews here, we gave it a try.

    The bored young lady sitting in the back didn't get up and seat us until we were inside and I asked, "You are open, aren't you?" The entire time we were there, she said maybe half a dozen words to us, mostly about our order. The food was lackluster and oversalty as mcmal pointed out, we had the looleh kabob and the lamb kabob along with some hummus and the feta cheese plate, all were mediocre at best.

    Sahara on Colorado is much better, both in food quality and service.

    1. You might want to try Good Times Pita kitchen on 633 S Arroyo Pkwy in Pasadena.

      They serve great middle eastern food and are very nice. Its small inside, you order at the counter and they bring you the food, but its all very fresh and tasty.

      If you search the board, you will find other reviews.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LisaN

        Another vote for Good Times. They're very friendly, too. One time when I was waiting for my order, I was offered samples of a truly delicious lentil-based soup (the place is worth a visit just for this soup) as well as a sauteed spinach side. The samples were almost big enough to constitute actual portions.

        They're friendly, and more importantly, they make good food at Good Times.

      2. Yeah, this place has gone downhill since the remodel.

        1. Sadly, the place isn't the same anymore. It seems to be family run, and there seems to be family issues affecting the running of the restaurant. It's too bad since they really do have the best tasting felafels in town.