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Nov 25, 2008 11:48 PM

Opening Day for Spitz in Downtown LA

As Angelenic (, first noted earlier this week, Spitz ("Home of the Döner Kebab") opened today in Downtown LA. "The Little Tokyo location is the second for the popular venture by Bryce Rademan and Robert Wicklund and has been a year in the making." Spitz's döner kebab is a Mediterranean dish of minced lamb and beef pressed together, cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order.

The restaurant, which was designed by Celeste Korthase Studio, has a Mad Max feel to it. The designers pulled together reclaimed materials and furniture to create an "industrial experimental look." You just have to go look for yourself (sorry about the blurry photo).

There are three separate seating sections to the restaurant. The "industrial experimental" seating section and order counter (you order your food at the counter, they give you a number and bring your food to the table of your choice), the more traditional bar area and the sidewalk patio.

In the end, the food and drink, not the decor is what is going to draw people into the restaurant. You can order the classic döner (lamb/beef), the chicken döner, or falafel in either sandwich (on fresh baked foccacia), lavash wrap or salad form. If you order the sandwich or the lavash, you get a choice of side (salad, fries, sweet potato fries or pita strips). There is also the döner plate, which is your choice of meat served over seasoned french fries and topped with tzatziki, chili sauce and feta, as well as a side salad, one falafel ball, pita strips and hummus. All that for $10.25.

They serve both LA Mill coffee and iced tea along with gelato they say Time Magazine called "the best ice cream in the Universe." The simple, fresh, healthy menu is perfect for the downtown lunch crowd. Throw in the decent wine list and easily one of the best beer lists in Downtown and the owners may have created a perfect happy hour/casual dinner spot as well.

For opening day we tried the chicken lavash and the classic döner plate. Much has been written about the quality of the food from the original Spitz location (Citysearch named Spitz the Best Fast Food in 2008), so we were expecting good things. Both were indeed delicious, but the unexpected hit was the fries. I could be wrong but they tasted like they were twice fried. Oh, and you have to be sure and ask for the chili sauce to use as a dip for your fries. It is truly addictive.

I am really happy with Spitz and I am sure most others will find it a very welcome addition to the neighborhood. It is no more expensive than other local lunch spots like PitFire, Pete's, and Blossom and the food hits the mark. Congrats to the owners on their year long journey.

For photos, see here:

Spitz Little Tokyo
371 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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  1. Where are they getting their gelato from?

    1. I surprisingly happened upon this yesterday by lucking out on a parking spot right in front while on my way to the Korean BBQ place up the street. Looks interesting.

      1. Been waiting around for this to open for a while. Sadly, the food was gradiose mediocre. Small portion for the price. Low low quality gyro-style meat, no shawarma or shishlik in sight. Basically, you're getting bottom of the barrel middle eastern style food. Pita was not bread but strips. Tzaziki was close to non-existent. Everything is bloody extra cash for things most restaurants would glady supply for free. Food was cold. Salad was sort of thrown together and looked like it had been rationed from leftovers.

        If this spot wants to be build a clientele from the amazing choice of Asian restaurants in the area, it will need to serve up better fare than this. For those that have never had greek or middle eastern food, it will be tasty. For the rest of us, it is to absolutely be avoided unless there's a major improvement.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jamesadams

          Thanks for taking one for the team. Did you happen to try the gelato?

          1. re: jamesadams

            Yeah, I swung by and the place just smelled odd, not bad necessarily, but just not right.

            Certainly not the same vibe as the original locale in Eagle Rock.

            1. re: jamesadams

              I agree with this review, point for point. I will not be returning.

              1. re: jamesadams

                I think there was a difference in expectation between our points of view.

                Given the absence of interesting non-Asian lunch options within walking distance of the courts and City Hall (a place where I spend a lot of time and a place that is highlighted by the likes of Starbucks, Sbarro, and Quizno’s)… I was (as my review noted) pleasantly surprised by Spitz. I am in no way comparing it to the better Middle-Eastern restaurants around Greater Los Angeles in quality of food or in price point. Rather, I am comparing it to the other lunch time options in the immediate area. Pitfire Pizza isn’t close to the best pizza in LA, but for a $10 lunch in this part of town, it is a restaurant worth visiting and a place that folks on this board recommend to people searching for “jury duty” options.

                Likewise, for a place like Pete’s Café – also a few blocks away. The food isn’t something I would drive downtown for, but as a lunch option the sandwiches and salads are more than adequate. And the blue cheese fries are great.

                For people who don’t have the luxury of driving for lunch in the Civic Center, they need a quick affordable walkable lunch, which brings me back to Spitz. For $10, I got a sandwich, a side salad (fries I thought were great) and an LA Mill iced tea. That hits the spot in this neck of the woods. And I would also give them points for the fact that they do have one of the best beer lists in all of Downtown.