Gaby's on Venice Back Open!
While not a destination restaurant, Gaby's Mediterranean near Culver City was always a reliable neighborhood spot when I had a craving for shwarma, tabouli, hummus etc. I was extremely disappointed when they closed for renovation.
But I'm excited to report they're now re-open! It's not clear what they renovated, but the food is as good as before AND the service has much improved. Before, the servers were nice but uh-hum VERY relaxed. Now, there's enough attention that order is taken, water is refilled, bill is paid for v. efficiently.
They've been open for 3 weeks now, but I just thought I'd let the Chow community know.
I often do the restaurant and shopping crawl along that stretch of Venice. Thai Boom, the $5.99 whole rotisserie chicken shop, Del Taco (the El Scorcho hot sauce has changed names), Wendy's for a frosty, the Smart & Final, one of the last Togo's remaining on the west side -- I'll even confess to a quick burger at In-&-Out or Rally's.
So tell me what is best and worth my stopping at Gaby's, please. Is the shawarma from a rotisserie or just grilled on a flat-top? Is it beef or lamb or chicken? Is it more a gyro? Any good garlic or any other kind of spread or sauce with the pita? C'mon, sell me -- I really miss Mama Voula's in W.L.A. and now I go to the Stuffed Pita shack across from Santa Monica College, where a great pita shawarma lamb sandwich is just 5 bucks.
I'm no expert on Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food so hopefully someone else can help you out more!
But I get the chicken shwarma, it can come in a pita wrap form, with lettuce, tomatoes, and some garlic cream sauce. Or you can get a platter. I can't tell whether it's off the spit or not, but it's mostly to all white meat, which i'm sure is not authentic (but what I prefer).
Hope that helps, if you're already in the area might as well try it out and report back. It'll only run you 6.50 or so and you get fries w/ it.
in my experiences,
the chicken schwarma
the hummus, baba ghanoush, grape leaves and falafel platter
the baked yams
the red potato appetizer or smashed red potatoes
and when i'm healthy the bodybuilder's special that offers steamed veggies, chicken, baked yams, black beans, rice, etc.