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Jan 13, 2009 02:19 PM

What do YOU order from Zankou?

I've only been to Zankou's Van Nuys location a couple times and always stick to the 1/4 chicken white plate. Am I missing out?

When you go to Zankou, what is YOUR favorite item of choice? Is it location dependent? Do you make special changes to make it "better"?

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  1. Usually Van Nuys location, 1/4 dark or 1/2 chicken depending on my hunger level, no pickles (sub chiles) and extra container of garlic sauce.

    Zankou Chicken
    5658 Sepulveda Blvd Ste 103, Van Nuys, CA 91411

    2 Replies
    1. re: sel

      i believe i saw a zankous on sunset near ....i want to say western-ish. is this the same chain as you guys are talking about? worth a visit?

      1. re: samtron608

        I find their iced water to be surprisingly consistent -- unlike everything else.

        Throw me into the "Zankou has gone downhill ever since they started putting the garlic paste in those foil-covered cup thingies" camp.

        I live very close to the Van Nuys location; in fact, if I were homeless, I'd set-up camp very near that shop (in the brush-tunnels of the Sepulveda basin). But I'm not homeless, so -- whoever brought that up -- just move along, nothing to see here.

        Zankou used to be so amazingly good -- these days, not so much.

        In my most humble of opinions, of course.


    2. Yes, there is a Zankou in Van Nuys just off the freeway, and one on Sunset at Normandie. Also a big one in W.L.A. on Sepulveda just south of Santa Monica Blvd.

      You are missing out if you order the 1/4 white meat rotisserie chicken at Zankou -- the wing is way overdone, and the breast tends to be dry unless you get very lucky. And the 1/4 white is charged a premium. A MUCH better deal is the half-chicken, or the whole chicken with half for there and half for later. The dark meat and skin from the leg portion is never overcooked, stays moist, and adds richness and moisture when you strip pieces off and make a pita sandwich with their wonderful garlic paste. By the way, I just noticed recently that Zankou provides little packets of hot sauce as well -- another good addition to the pita.

      If you must get a wrap, the chicken tarna is far superior to the chopped roast chicken. I'm not a fan of either the beef shawarma or falafel at Zankou -- the beef tends to be dry and the falafel balls invariably have hung out under a heat lamp for too long. I keep things simple there -- a half-chicken if I'm just eating there, a whole chicken with half there and half to go if I'm heading home soon so I can put the foil bag into the fridge.

      1. The best thing there is the "Combo plate." It's not on the menu and it's a combo of the chicken tarna and the shawarma. The should call the place Zankou beef!

        3 Replies
        1. re: brez

          This sounds like a great idea - which location have you ordered this at? I've asked once at the Pasadena location and they refused.

          1. re: Vaya Con Carne

            Comedian and radio show guy Adam Carolla has a hilarious on-going rant about the "NO! Cannot Have!" attitude he's encountered from the counter women at Zankou. Even when he's willing to pay extra to have an order 'his way', he gets the "NO! Cannot Have!" beat-down from the humorless mavens of the rotisserie...

            1. re: silence9

              I know that one counter lady with the black eyebrows in hollywood makes my husband so nervous he forgets what things are called. Then he kinda hem and hahs while she death stares him. Usually I have to step in and order

        2. The Tarna (chicken shawerma) sandwich is my favorite. The garlic paste is already in there, all you need is to add a few pickles.

          1. Half chicken plate, sub muttabal for hummus, extra garlic. And now that I hear you can sub chiles for pickles, I am *so* doing that next time!

            I alternate between the Sepulveda/Santa Monica, Pasadena, and Glendale locations. I've found the Glendale location to be the best of the three, the Pasadena one to be the weakest.