Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 30, 2008 08:54 PM

Alcazar or Carnival for Valley Middle Eastern?

I've been craving some good kabobs and hummus, and both Alcazar and Carnival get some good reviews and look pretty good. Any recs from those who have tried both? Recently, I have been enjoying California Pita and Grill for lunch.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I highly recommend the hummus Alcazar at Alcazar. It's spiced and topped with fava beans. Absolutely fantastic. I've never tried the kabobs at Alcazar, but my brother enjoyed them.

    1. IMO Alcazar is the best Middle Eastern in the LA area, Carnival is very good as well and maybe a notch below. Also Alcazar is a little fancier and more expensive. For kabobs and hummous, either place will do fine. The advantage of Alcazar is they have a huge menu, and a lot of Middle Eastern specialties that you won't find at other places. For example the chicken livers in pomegranite sauce are superb. You won't go wrong at either place, but I would give Alcazar the edge.

      1 Reply
      1. re: markn

        I agree, but would include Carousel on the list. Their kabob with yogurt can be great.
        If the poster wants kabob I'd also recommend Olympia Kabob House in the Valley. They've a meat market next door and this is their specialty...
        I think Carnival is the weakest of the bunch but still perfectly acceptable for most mezze dishes. Their kibbe didn't stand out.

      2. I haven't been to Carnival, but Alcazar is one of my favorite places, and I heartily recommend it. I also love the chicken livers in pomegranate sauce.

        They have a wonderful sausage meze, too.

        1. Different Animals. Service is better at Alcazar, and I love thier MEzze.

          Carnival is cheaper, with amazing food, but the staff can be surly. For just Kabobs and Hummus, go to Carnival, it will be more affordable.

          Foir a mezze balst, go to Alcazar

          Frankly, for Kabobs and hummus, go to Shamshiri.

          For the ones I like best, go to Hummus Bar

          1. I enjoy the food at Carnival, but the service can be so obnoxious, we rarely stop by. Usually I'll pop in for take out when we want something rather than put of with the antics of an untrained and occasionally downright nasty waitress staff. I was there on a rather busy Sunday when the poor man at the table next to us practically begged the waitress to bring him a spoon or a fork or a knife or anything so he could eat his dinner before it got cold. He was elderly and dining along and the girl was not interested in helping him out. Finally, after about 20 minutes of watching his food congeal into a cold mess, he stood up and said "Please, I'll get them myself, where can I find a ford and a knife." The girl rolled her eyes, disappeared and came back with a table setting which she practically flung at the old man. I've eaten there again only once after that display...the service did not reach that revolting a low, but our waitress was pretty surly. Both these gals seemed like high school students pressed into service by their parents...I wonder if that's the case. The waitresses obviously resented the work to the point where they are acting out! Interesting as a floorshow, but unpleasant for those of us who are spending money for a quiet dinner. Too bad, because the food is quite good. It used to be much busier...maybe the nasty waitresses have scared off other people as well.