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Green Olive closed!

I had a Green Olive craving tonight, so stopped in for something to take home. But got the most unsettling news that it made me lose my appetite: tonight is Green Olive's last night of business. They've been bought by something called Pita Place (?) in the Valley.

I'm so upset - and Zankou doesn't cut it for me. There's nothing like Green Olive's chicken kabob - which comes with (came with) rice, hummus, greek salad and that yummy spicy green sauce.

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  1. Very disappointing. You are right that the chicken kabob at Green Olive was very good (and the overcooked chickens at Zankou horrible). Let's be optimistic - maybe Pita Place will be good as well. It's not a great location and they definitely need better signage to get more customers.

    I wonder how long the transition will take. Since all the other options in the neighborhood are unspeakable, I have been eating lunch almost every day at Green Olive. So, for now, I have no place within walking distance for lunch.

    2 Replies
      1. re: kevin

        Actually, I went to Fish Grill last night after checking out Green Olive and talking to the new owner. Fish Grill is really not good - after a meal at Green Olive, I always felt great. After the Fish Grill, the food just felt like lead. And would it kill the Fish Grill to offer a vegetable - a leaden baked potato and soggy coleslaw don't count.

    1. I stopped by this evening. They are not open yet, but the new owner was there. They have stores in Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks and he said they are very well known for their hummus (that would be a good thing, since as much as I liked Green Olive, their hummus was a weak link). He also said they are known for their chicken and that they make their falafel from real garbanzo beans rather than canned.

      The new owner also said they are redoing the interior to make it brighter and that they would have better signage than Green Olive had.

      Best of all, he said they will deliver. Here's hoping for the best. They should be open in about a week.

      P.S. Any Valleyites know Pita Place's stores in Woodland Hills or Sherman Oaks?

      5 Replies
      1. re: omotosando

        but will they have the pretty good green olive style gyros?

        1. re: kevin

          The new owner said they are going to have gyros. What I will miss the most is the Green Olive's spicy green sauce. That stuff was addictive. Maybe we can convince them to open somewhere else on the Westside. The location was just not great - there were never enough people in there and the poor signage didn't help.

        2. re: omotosando

          Live in Sherman Oaks and have no idea where Pita Place is. I think we went to one in Mammoth last summer (it was definitely a franchise) but it might have been another name. It was passable.

          1. re: Debbie W

            After doing some sleuthing, I think this is actually going to be a branch of "California Pita & Grill," since that is the only "pita" restaurant I could find that has branches in both Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks.

            Anyone know this place?

            I Googled them and found an online menu. I'm hoping for the best, but the menu doesn't look very good. They offer a lot of different things (hamburgers for instance) and my experience is that quick food places that offer a lot of menu choices (rather than concentrating on a few dishes) generally have mediocre food.

            Looking for a Green Olive substitute, I had lunch today at the Greek Kabob at Olympic and Bundy. It was dreadful. Only makes the loss of Green Olive more difficult. Sigh.

            1. re: omotosando

              yeah, the paper posted up next to the help wanted sign stated "california pita" if it's any consolation there's still the orinigal green olive in commerce, at least i hope so.

        3. My boyfriend and I went last night too. I was drooling for the gyros and he had his tastbudes set on the chicken kabobs! =( It was rather sad. We were both starving and settled for Rubio's. So disappointing.

          1. The one in Mammoth is Pita Pit, not Pita Place. And, it's average.
            I already miss Green Olive. Such a bummer!

            1. The new place - California Pita - is open and I am sad to report that it is a pale imitation of the Green Olive.

              The new owner had bragged to me how they are famous for their chicken and it was going to be so much better than the inferior chicken at the Green Olive (I was frankly a little taken aback by how he was dissing the Green Olive, especially since I thought the place was excellent). Not. If the chicken kabob at Green Olive was an 8 or 9, the chicken at California Pita is a 2 or 2 1/2 at most.

              The Green Olive had succulent kabob. It took a long time for it to cook, but it was worth the wait. California Pita doesn't even have kabob. Instead, it serves strips of chicken (probably because flat strips cook quicker). The chicken strips were highly mediocre. And instead of the tasty spicy sauce that Green Olive served, the chicken came with a yellow sauce that tasted exactly like mayonnaise. I happen to dislike mayonnaise and, hence, hated the sauce.

              The salad was vastly overdressed. I suppose the overdressing could be corrected by telling them not to drench the salad, but the dressing wasn't as tasty as the dressing used by Green Olive.

              The hummus (which didn't come with the chicken, but cost extra) was mediocre - reminded me of the hummus at Zankou.

              I was disappointed. I don't think I will be returning. The Green Olive was such a gem in a sea of mediocrity in West L.A. Now there is one more mediocre joint joining its brethern in West L.A.

              I will be curious to hear what others think.

              P.S. For those who are into quantity over quality, the chicken portion was huge - the largest portion I have had at any Mediterranean-Middle Eastern place. Perhaps when the owner told me they were famous for their chicken, he meant for their gargantuan portions.. . Non-discriminating teenagers and college students with huge appetites might enjoy this place.

              16 Replies
              1. re: omotosando

                damnit, at least they could've opened a subway in that spot, but they had to tempt us.

                oh, well, i may just have to take a visit to commerce to the original The Green Olive.

                1. re: kevin

                  Actually, there is a Subway just down the street (west) in the same mini-mall as the awful buffet place, the awful sushi place, the awful Mexican place, the awful Vietnamese place and the awful Indian place.

                  I'm a kabob person, not a gyros person, so I never tried the gyros at Green Olive. Perhaps the gyros at California Pita are decent. I'm skeptical; however. I am sure others will weigh in.

                2. re: omotosando

                  Oh, this makes me so sad...I hardly knew ye Green Olive!

                  BTW, if you're looking for killer kebabs, shawarma, and hummus, Sunnin on Westwood isn't that far away. No gyros, though...

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    did u mention Habayit? pretty good stuff, and it's a real israel falafel, not overloaded with stuff and the real israeli (tomato/cucumber salad).

                    the stuffed cabbage also looks tempting there and the turkish salad.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Habayit is awesome, though a different vibe from Green Olive and Sunnin. Frankly, I prefer Habayit to both, though the garlic sauce at Sunnin is delightful...

                    2. re: a_and_w

                      I love the hummus at Sunnin, but suprisingly their kabob (both chicken and beef) is not very good. Not juicy and succulent like Green Olive, but dried out. I won't order it. I've also had the chicken at Habayit, and again, not as good as Green Olive was.

                      1. re: omotosando

                        Bummer! Have you tried the kosher grill at Santa Monica and Colby on Sundays? I haven't tried them yet myself but they smell phenomenal and my friend swears by them...

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          is that right outside the santa monica kosher market?

                          1. re: a_and_w

                            No, I have never heard of any kosher Middle Eastern restaurant in West L.A. other than Habayit. Is this other restaurant somehow only open on Sundays?

                            I have not had good luck with kosher Middle Eastern food in L.A., although I think I heard there a few good places in the SFV. I think Nagila is terrible and Habayit only so-so. It seems like kosher restaurants have a captive audience who will only eat kosher, so they don't have to try very hard to be great because people don't have a lot of other options.

                            1. re: omotosando

                              i did like habayit though, it wasn't exceptional but the falafels felt like the real deal and the decor/atmosphere reminds one of the casual joints in Israel.

                            2. re: a_and_w

                              Finally tried the Kosher Grill this past Sunday and was quite impressed! The chicken, in particular, was absurdly tender. If you're still looking for a succulent and flavorful chicken kabob in the area, this may be the place.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                where's kosher grill? thanks.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  On Sundays in the parking lot of the kosher market at Santa Monica and Colby.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    love that market, kosher persian cue on sundays sounds good.

                        2. re: omotosando

                          Makes me so sad, I hesitated to try the new place before, now I'm doubly hesitant. I miss Green Olive so much!

                        3. Any further reports on California Pita? I can't bring myself to try the place after omotosando's emphatic pan...

                          PS: I just learned that Sham delivers, though I haven't tried their kebabs.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: a_and_w

                            Remember I only tried the chicken. It's possible that other things are better.

                            1. re: a_and_w

                              I went there last week.

                              Gross humous......kabos were "ok"...i doubt I'll go back though

                            2. Having a chicken kabob craving this afternoon and seeking out a substitute for the late great Green Olive, I decided to give Gaby's on Venice Blvd. a try. I had been there a few years ago and was seriously underwhelmed, but Gaby's always comes up on this Board, so I decided to give it another try.

                              Well, it was better than California Pita (not hard), but if the chicken kabob at Green Olive was an 8 or 9, Gaby's was a 4 1/2 at best. Plus, at $9.50, it was more expensive than Green Olive and did not come with hummus, which needed to be purchased as a side for $4.50. The hummus was okay, although not as good as the hummus at Sunnin (although the mystery at Sunnin is why they can make good hummus, but cannot make a decent kabob). When I'm up for braving the parking at Farmer's Market, Moishe's does make a mean lamb kabob though.

                              The only chicken kabob that I have found on the Westside/mid-City area that comes close to the kabob at the late great Green Olive is Moishe's in the Farmer's Market, but still I would give the edge to Green Olive's chicken kabob and also the parking at the Farmer's Market is seriously inconvenient when you are only looking for a quick bite. When I'm up for braving the parking at the Farmer's Market though, Moishe's does make a mean lamb kabob.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: omotosando

                                Had lunch at California Pita (on Wilshire) today. I didn't have a chance to try this place when it was Green Olives, but I have to report that the food was good. I had the gyro plate. Generous amount of gyro, the meat was very tender and not salty - usually I'm afraid it's going to be dry and they just give shavings of meat. But the food came out hot off the grill, rice was fluffy, and the pitas were perfectly warmed. Much better than the other alternative nearby which is "Gyro Place" on Bundy and Olympic Blvd. Yuck.

                                1. re: tatertots

                                  Ah, if you could have only tasted the delights of the Green Olive. California Pita is a major step down.

                              2. This is an old thread, but I totally thought of it after eating a truly succulent chicken kebab from Shamshiri Grill. I also followed a tip by westsidegal and substituted one of their specialty rices, which was awesome.