Al Wazir Chicken
A brief haiku about Al Wazir chicken, on the corner of Hollywood and Gower.
Better than Zankou is now,
maybe than Zankou used to be.
I can't remember so well.
(Also: the garlic paste has a really nice, nice degree of creaminess.)
(Not worth a drive from a great distance, but maybe worth comparing to Zankou Hollywood if you're in the area.)
(Zankou may be more crowd-pleasing these days - they use sort of ultra-moist chicken, and load it down with extra lard or whatever. Al Wazir is a little cleaner, better-grade of chicken, less gobs of lard. Maybe just a matter of taste. But Al Wazir is a little more sparkling.)
(Not magical. Pleasant option for the local Hollywood crowd. Rainy-day takeout, etc.)
We love Al Wazir. I can't say enough wonderful things about every tasty, affordable meal we've had there. Got to say, the delivery makes the food lose a bit of its punch, but eat-in has been very good no matter what we've had. Haven't had the chicken schwarma, so I can't speak to that, but falafel, whole chicken (& *sigh* garlic sauce), lamb, beef, and especially the yummy turnip pickles (which they've been kind enough to tell me how to make myself) are better than the much more costly dinner & hookah place just a block away. I'd rather walk the mile to Al Wazir, sit in a fast food vinyl booth, and know the meal will be yummy enough to need that longer, digestive walk home.
Al Wazir has dramatically cleaned up its act over the past couple of years. I agree with Thi completely. It's switched places with the Hollywood Zankou in my mind.
I've also noticed that Zankou is much less busy recently. Maybe it's the food, maybe it's the economy. But there's been a real shift.
There have never been big crowds at Al Wazir, but now they seem to actually have other customers when I go in. It's cleaner, the staff is friendlier, and the food seems fresher that it was a couple of years ago.