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Best shwarma?

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  • Thi Nguyen Aug 9, 2001 01:00 PM
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I seek shwarma. You know, the ground lamb or chicken that gets roasted on huge spits and shaved on and served to you, in, among other things, gyros. I want fierce shwarma. Where to go?

-thi

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  1. My favorite shawarma, and that of a lot of others, I suspect, is at Zankou Chicken on Sunset at Normandie (and Glendale, and Pasadena on Colorado east of PCC). Their roast chicken gets all the attention, but they do other things equally well. And at Sunset you can get their stuffed grape leaves, which are my favorite in town. Also, I bet you can get nice sit-down shawarma at Carousel on Hollywood Blvd. The food there is just excellent, and I'm sure it's good there, but I haven't tried it (I go for the lula kebab usually).

    Incidentally, my brother, who has moved to Armenia, tells me that the correct pronunciation is "shower-ma" but I always forget to say it that way when I order it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jennifer M.

      I wholeheartedly agree with Jennifer on Carousel/Hollywood. Great food and unbeatable prices. Must be the ferocious competiton among all the kebab restaurants. Hummus is always fresh and delicious. I like the lula kebab and the kids like the chicken kebab. Cabbage salad simple and refreshing.

      The real bargain is when you order takeout. Then the kebabs are sold by the pound (IIRC that's 8 lulas/pound for $8.00!) plus all the accoutrements! Great for impromptu dinner get togethers.

      1. re: glenmore

        What is the address of Carousel Hollywood?

        1. re: Gerard

          Carousel in East Hollywood (5112 Hollywood Blvd., 323-660-8060)

        2. re: glenmore

          There's also a great appetizer made with red peppers and ground walnuts called muhammara. On the subject of Armenian places, the guys at my Armenian fruit stand on Edgemont and Santa Monica pooh-pooh Carousel (although, for an admitted novice to Armenian fare, it seems perfectly fine), but they rave about Sahag's Basturma, at 5183 Sunset, around Kingsley (not far from Carousel). Basturma is kind of an Armenian proscuito: deeply cured meat, with very little fat. All the Armenians in Hollywood and Glendale go there (including my landlord): you can get a nice pita basturma sandwich, or get thinly sliced basturma to go: about $10 a pound.

      2. Me too! Hopefully someone will have some suggestions. The two that I used to go to, one is gone and the other has changed a lot. IIRC they were both called Me & Me Falafel. The one on Hollywood Blvd. near Las Palmas is gone. The other one on Fairfax and Rosewood? is still there and remodeled. I had one there maybe a year ago but not as good as it used to be. Whenever I'm at Zankou Chicken in Hollywood, I eye the shwarma spit but it never looks too appetizing. For awhile I went almost daily for a tasty lunch of either falafel or shwarma at a Moustache Cafe in the upstairs food court of the Bonaventure Hotel downtown. The owners closed the Moustache and merged into a smaller operation with one of the other restaurants on the floor. A recent article in the Times 5/9/2001 reviewed a bunch of Middle Eastern places servicing the jewelry district downtown, but I haven't gotten around to them yet.

        1. Of course that's WEST of PCC, sorry.

          Well, I had to go to Zankou for lunch, naturally, after that. Looking at the menu, I discovered that shawerma is beef, and "tarna" is the chicken equivalent (which I'm sure 99% of us call "chicken shawerma"!)

          The beef (apparently the actual shawerma) does not look appetizing, this is true. However, the chicken not only looked appetizing but was really delicious. It's nicely spiced, and I stuck as many pink pickles in the pita as I could! Yes, that settles it, I definitely recommend Zankou! Very interested to hear where else people have found it to be good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jennifer M.

            I work down the block from Zankou's,
            a former favorite, but I've defected
            to Mediterranean Cafe on Lake and
            Del Mar. Its hidden, because it
            doesn't face Lake, but faces the parking
            lot.

          2. There's a place in Alhambra (just down the street from Twoeey's if you know the area), called Pharos Burger, that has amazing gyros.

            1. Petra, in Beverly Hills on South Beverly Drive is a very good Lebanese restaurant.

              Their gyro is the best I have ever had. It is also a bargain that comes with a lovely salad for something like $8.95. Highly recommended!

              1. Open Sesame along Belmont Shore in Long Beach.

                1. c
                  Caitlin Wheeler

                  Marroosh, on either Hill or Allen in Altadena. Best shawarma. Bar none. Altadena has a huge armenian population, and that may account for it. They also have excellent hummus.

                  1. try Laura's Cafe, 2777 S. Diamond Bar Bl.

                    Don and Laura are the nicest people to walk the earth. They treat me like family, and that's not just lip service. They take great care in everything they make, including their tasty, tender shawarma, available in either a wrap or platter, the latter accompanied by a delectable pilaf and drizzled with a positively addictive garlic sauce. They do coffee quite well, including a truly pulled cup of espresso, but the real beverage catches are their smoothies. It's a worthy destination in a town with relatively few of them.

                    Kriss