Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
May 29, 2010 09:50 AM

Crying your eyes out when an old favorite has tanked in quality

Mme Zoe has always had a serious hummous and falafal addiction and her favorite on the westside has always been The Hungry Pocket opposite Santa Monica City college - harks back to those days over 25 years ago when we were studying for the Bar and took time out for a 'hand made" pocket lovingly layered with a warm pita, dressing, tahini, lettuce and fluffy falafels. Those were the days my friend because NO MORE fluffy falafels - now little bullets on a cold pita and my trying new horizons getting a fish sandwich proved disaster and inedible. Plus the parking lot looks like a set from Law and Order (one of them)..
Hope some listers can give us hope on a better falafel and on the west side if possible.

Hungry Pocket
1715 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I know this is at the opposite end of the Westside, but we've had really good experiences with Mezza. They're not bargain-basement student-friendly prices - it's a full-service restaurant - but the prices are still reasonable and if your priority is a major upgrade from that huge downgrade, consider Mezza.

    1. NO!
      SAY IT AIN'T SO!

      i shared the love of the falafals from the hungry pocket.
      they were ALWAYS made to order and the sandwich was always delivered into your hand within 12 seconds of coming out of the fryer.
      the bread was ALWAYS perfectly warmed, they would put the bread on the grill at the same time they would put the falafal in the fryer so that both were ready at the same moment.

      this is especially disheartening because my other westside source for good falafal started turning out meh falafal about a year ago.
      because of the calories involved, falafal is one of my guilty pleasures. it HAS to be good enough to warrant those calories.
      i don't want to have to drive from playa del rey to itzik hagadol in the valley to get falafal.

      i am going to locate a source for antidepressants as soon as i finish throwing a temper tantrum. . . .

      2 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        Nothing was sadder than when Ken Hansen, the owner of Scandia died. Scandia was one of the world's great restaurants. Mr.Hansen was a true gentleman and treated his customers with great respect. The food was always wonderful; no more so, than at Xmas and New Years. I frequently drive by that (formerly) beautiful space at Sunset and Doheny and I am always reminded of all of the great memories, great food and the best waiters anywhere. It was Ken Hansen who introduced Gravlax to to the Los Angeles dining scene. As well, Mr.Hansen taught me to pair lamb and lingonberries. Ken Hansen was such a visionary and to bring the thread back on topic, I remember the overwhelming sense of sadness, after Mr. Hansen's death, when my husband and I decided to drop into Scandia, post-theatre. We sat at the gorgeous bar. Times had changed. The bar was no longer where one enjoyed a great drink and swedish meatballs.:( Any way to say this delicately? ) This is not the bar which Mr. Hansen envisioned. So sad to see the bar at Scandia devolve into a hooker bar. I think it was the saddest moment, ever, in a restaurant which was so beloved .

        1. re: maudies5

          You probably know this already; however, you can view their 1981 menu (4 pages) here: