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Sep 9, 2009 06:58 AM

Armenian roast chicken alternatives to Zankou?

I don't know if it's just me, but the chicken at Zankou just hasn't been as satisfying over the last few years. I've been to the location on Sunset Blvd in Little Armenia many times in the past (not so much recently) and the ones in Burbank and the Valley on a couple of occasions. While I used to really like it back in the day, on recent visits the chicken was really dry and flavorless; it seems that the only redeeming thing was the garlic sauce.

So now I'm looking for a Zankou-style Armenian roast chicken specialist, but at a place other than Zankou. Are there even any other Armenian eateries in the Greater LA area that specialize in roast chicken with garlic like Zankou? Or are all of the other places "all-purpose" restaurants that serve a little bit of everything?

I tried doing a search on this board for alternatives but only pulled up the usual Armenian suggestions such as Carousel and Raffi's. Now, these places would be fine if they served this dish, but I'm not sure if they do it well, if at all.

I'm open to suggestions all over the region, although I'm assuming that most of the top places will be in or near Glendale.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. The thing to get is not the roast chicken (I know a lot of people do, though). Rather, you wanna get the Tarna Sandwich (which is chicken Schwarma). That has got all the additional seasoning on it and is mostly chicken thighs so it's not dry. I get mine with extra garlic sauce and ask for extra-toasted bread.

    I'm not sure who else has whole roasted chickens. Other places with Chicken schwarma in hollywood are Al-Wazir and RoRo's, and they're both good, just not as good as Zankou...

    1. If the Armenian places are letting you down, then how about buying your favorite Garlic Sauce and bringing it with you to:

      Did you read this previous post ?

      1. When you say "Armenian" do you just mean the garlic sauce? Because lots of places do similar garlic sauce, including Alcazar in Westwood and Sham in SM.

        1. Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

          Yeah, I've had the chicken shawarma sandwich at Zankou, which I'm a fan of. Even so, I keep thinking about the roast chicken with garlic and pita bread on the side, which I liked in the past but not as much recently.

          I know I can just get the garlic sauce and then purchase a better rotisserie chicken separately, but I was hoping to find a place that offered all of that in one spot, just like Zankou does, except with a better-quality roasted chicken.

          I guess the place doesn't have to be Armenian as long as it offers the combination of roast chicken, garlic sauce, and pita bread under one roof. But the reason I specifically asked for an Armenian place is because I figure that if Zankou is doing it, there must be other Armenian spots in the region that serve this dish, too.

          Thanks again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: freshfigs

            The recommendation on the link I posted above included this:


            I'm partial to these guys. Very low on ambiance, but the garlic paste is addictive. IMHO, i like it better than Zankou. I know this might be an unpopular view, but I like the seasonings on the chicken better and the garlic sauce is on par. Falafel is pretty good to, as is the shawerma.

            Permalink | Report | Reply
            beachwoodcanyon Aug 22, 2009 11:25AM...."

            Sounds like what you're looking for.

            1. re: JBC

              Yep, I saw the Al Wazir recommendation on that link. It sounds familiar; either way, I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip!

          2. I would say give Sevan Chicken a try. I have been there just once (Glendale), but was pleasantly surprised to find the chicken juicy and tender, compared to the dry and rubbery taste of Zankou's chicken. Sevan is a local chain with a couple of other locations, so Google before you head to Glendale.

            In my opinion, Sevan is certainly better than Roro's or Zankou - however not as flavorful as say, Pollo a la Brasa. I wouldn't compare Dino's to any of the aforementioned places, due to the different cooking style (fast versus slow cooked).

            Sevan Chicken
            601 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91202

            2 Replies
            1. re: losfelizhound

              Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for! I'll give it a try for sure.

              While I was searching on other sites, I came across an LA Times article from last summer highlighting roast chicken around the city. One of the places mentioned is an Armenian spot in Pasadena called Soumarelo. This place has hardly been mentioned on chowhound (and even then, no one's talked about their chicken), so I'm wondering if any of you guys have been there and can vouch for its quality:


              "Soumarelo Fresh Mediterranean Grill. Birds at this 2-year-old Armenian restaurant are slow-cooked and very flavorful. They're brined overnight and marinated for one day and have a moist, tender finish. A terrific value: a whole chicken with two sides, huge pita and a strong, delicious garlic sauce is $7.99. Choose from an excellent array of homemade hot and cold sides. 1090 N. Allen Ave, Pasadena, (626) 791-0999."

              Here's another link with user reviews:

              1. re: freshfigs

                Thanks for the Soumarelo recommendation. I will try it sometime in the near future. Roro's, by the way, is Lebanese and not Armenian. There is another similar sounding rotisserie chicken outlet called "Sepan Chicken" in Atwater Village on Glendale Ave. However, I didn't think much of it (i.e., the chicken) on my only visit there.