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Best Falafel in LA?

aching Mar 21, 2010 07:13 PM

I've been craving falafel and would like to where Chowhounds like to get it. I've had it many times at Zankou Chicken, but I'm positive there are even better versions out there. I live Downtown, so Glendale and Westwood are both feasible for me. TIA!

  1. n
    ns1 Mar 21, 2010 07:33 PM

    Falafel Arax is the best I've found. Leagues better than Zankou, Spitz, Skafs...

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    Falafel Arax
    5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

    2 Replies
    1. re: ns1
      s
      sillygoosedown Mar 21, 2010 09:39 PM

      I've been a couple of times. The falafel themselves were good but the sandwich itself wasn't that great IMO.

      I will say that the falafel at Arax are probably better than those at Zankou.

      1. re: sillygoosedown
        n
        ns1 Mar 21, 2010 10:29 PM

        I agree 100%, the falafel a la carte is better than the sandwich

    2. l
      LisaN Mar 21, 2010 07:57 PM

      Hayat's Kitchen in North Hollywood N 11009 Burbank Blvd., No. 117, North Hollywood

      3 Replies
      1. re: LisaN
        Dommy Mar 22, 2010 12:28 PM

        Another vote for Hayat's... bite sized and super crisp!

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

        1. re: Dommy
          mrshankly Mar 22, 2010 02:16 PM

          Hayat's by far is the best I've ever had. Perfectly sized and cooked.

        2. re: LisaN
          n
          ns1 Mar 22, 2010 08:38 PM

          thanks for the rec, went by today and was as described!

          now on my regular rotation. Feels like everything is really made with care.

        3. n
          NYCnowLA Mar 21, 2010 09:23 PM

          Marouch Restaurant
          4905 Santa Monica Boulevard
          www.marouchrestaurant.com

          closed mondays

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          Marouch Restaurant
          4905 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA

          2 Replies
          1. re: NYCnowLA
            s
            sillygoosedown Mar 21, 2010 09:38 PM

            I second Marouch for falafel.

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            Marouch Restaurant
            4905 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA

            1. re: sillygoosedown
              katydid13 Mar 23, 2010 07:43 AM

              third Marouch!

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              Marouch Restaurant
              4905 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA

          2. DrBruin Mar 21, 2010 10:25 PM

            I enjoyed the late Eat-A-Pita's falafel... but, now, I'd have to say Pita Kitchen's falafel, located off of Ventura Blvd in Sherman oaks, is my current fave. Too bad it's nowhere near where you or I live.

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            Pita Kitchen
            14500 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

            1. sku Mar 22, 2010 08:56 AM

              It's a bit further from you, but Carnival in Sherman Oaks is the best I've had in LA; crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, tasting of garlic, parsley and sesame...they are as perfect as falafel can be. I find the falafels at Marouch to be dry and heavy whereas Carnival's are both more flavorful and lighter.

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              Marouch Restaurant
              4905 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA

              2 Replies
              1. re: sku
                c
                cdub Mar 22, 2010 02:13 PM

                Second the Carnival rec. I've always enjoyed theirs.

                Itzik Hagadol gives you unlimited Falafels when you order their salads. I didn't think they were quite as good as Carnivals but the bread more than made up for it.

                1. re: cdub
                  westsidegal Mar 24, 2010 12:01 AM

                  i love itzik hagadol and their array of salads.

              2. Servorg Mar 22, 2010 09:28 AM

                I used to basically work across the street (Moss Building) from the Falafel Express on the SW corner of Burbank and Reseda Blvd and thought that their falafel was excellent. The only thing is I haven't been there in a long time, so this is very aged information. Anyone tried them lately (assuming they are still there) that can give a more up to date review?

                1. f
                  film_score Mar 22, 2010 10:27 AM

                  Without a doubt Elena's Greek Armenian Cuisine in Glendale. Trust me on this. Their other stuff (e.g., kabobs) is good but their falafel is the best I've ever had and everyone that I've brought there concurs. By the way, as much as I love Zankou's tarna sandwiches (and I do love them) their falafel is not very good. It's always dry...

                  1000 S Glendale Ave
                  Glendale, CA 91205

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: film_score
                    k
                    kevin Mar 23, 2010 09:49 AM

                    the ones at Simon's Cafe are awesome.

                  2. orythedog Mar 23, 2010 11:49 AM

                    Amir's in Encino

                    1. n
                      nsxman Mar 23, 2010 04:58 PM

                      Having undertaken a similar quest for the best falafel, I can confidently say that you can't find any better than the falafel at the Hummus Bar & Grill in Tarzana. It's crispy on the outside yet still soft on the inside. And delicious!! (try dipping in the Tahini sauce).

                      1. g
                        gzembow Mar 24, 2010 12:39 AM

                        I was the first customer in the door the day Amir's Falafel in Studio City opened in the early 80's. I worked around the corner back then and it was my favorite place to eat both falafel and the best schwarma west of Tel Aviv.

                        For the past 25 years, 15 of them living in Santa Monica, I look forward to any excuse to drive to or through Studio CIty so I can eat at Amir's. In addition to great falafel, schwarma, and kabobs - they have great salads and even the non-existant decor doesn't detract from the excellent food.

                        Amir's Falafel 11711 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA‎ - (818) 509-8641‎

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                        Amir's Falafel
                        11711 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gzembow
                          Peripatetic Mar 24, 2010 04:11 AM

                          Have you been to Arax, and, if so, how do you think it compares with Amir's?

                        2. w
                          will47 Mar 24, 2010 03:04 PM

                          The place I mention in this thread (which, by the way, asks the same question) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/479609, as well as in this one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/479478 is called Habayit. Even as a not-at-all-kosher person, this one is one of my favorite falafels in LA.

                          Sunin in Westwood is Ok... at least not bad.

                          Zankou's falafels are crappy because they almost never make them to order, so they've usually been sitting around under the heat lamp for a while. Also, I think since the chicken is what's famous, they don't feel the need to try hard.

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                          Habayit
                          11921 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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