Lousin's Arakadz Cuisine
I found out about this place on sangabrielvalleymenus.com. It's Armenian/Mediterranean cuisine and located at 336 N. Allen Ave in Pasadena (just south of the 210 freeway). Since the site had a coupon good for one free chicken kebab plate with the purchase of one, plus two beverages, my wife and I decided to try it out tonight.
It's just a small, plain-looking place in a mini-mini mall, and is a combo deli/takeout/dine-in establishment. We ordered our plates and the food turned out to be quite good. The chicken was very tender, juicy and flavorful. It was served on the typical bed of rice pilaf, along with grilled onions, tomato and pasilla chile (the same kind used for chile rellenos). They gave my wife a chopped zucchini and tomato salad, and me a red cabbage salad. Both were nicely spiced. There was also warm pita bread and they gave us each a baklava. While this is pretty much the standard kebab meal, we both found the food to be fresh, well-prepared and really tasty. The pepper was really hot - this was unexpected and I found myself sweating for a while with a burning mouth.
The owners are an older couple who seem to really enjoy what they are doing, and are very affable. They were preparing a turkey and stuffing (!) while we ate. We wouldn't hesitate to go back and try the other stuff. Part of the attraction is the very nice owners.
You can find the menu and prices at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com, along with the coupon I mentioned.
I had a similar experience for lunch. The couple are the real deal.
When I arrived, they placed a 1 inch binder in front of me with about 60 pages of 8x10 color pictures of the various dishes they serve. What a trip to page through this whole binder seeing the various combinations (chicken kebab + hummus + rice + salad; beef kebab + hummus + rice + salad; lamb kebab + rice + salad; half chicken + rice + salad, etc.)
It does take a little time to get your food, but it's because the wife is in the back making it fresh. And it pays off when you get the dish. It's very fresh and homey-tasting. This is a chow-treasure.
re: lil mikey
Haha they placed 2 1-inch binders in front of me when I came - one for dine in menu and the other is their catering menu.
This place is a steal, beef kebab wrap was only $3.99 and quite generously portioned. A better deal than Med Cafe. I came here with a restaurant.com coupon and I felt bad, as if I was cheating them with how much I paid at the end.
The wait was slow for me too, though, the husband was gone in the beginning so it was only the wife both taking our orders and making our food. I reviewed this place on my blog a couple months back, hoping it'll give them more business (we were the only customers in the place) - dunno if it worked but I sure hope they stay in business.
I had lunch there again last week, and once again we too were the only customers in there.
But I was talking to the husband, and he said they do a LOT of catering business. In fact he had already done a catering job that day. So I hope that carries them through the lack of sit-down customers.
One thing, though, the wife's cooking is better than the husband's. She arrived just as we were eating, and there was definitely a difference. It was still very good, and at extremely reasonable prices. But I just liked her preparations better.
An undiscovered gem. Great chicken kebabs with grilled vegetables, rice and Armenian salad for low cost. Fresh, cooked to order. More than I could eat, but they have takeout boxes for leftovers. Friendly, personal service. Very quiet little place in a strip mall just south of 210 on Allen at Corson. They also offer catering.