HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Authentic Greek Food on the Westside?

  • y

I was just visiting my aunt in Channel Islands and attended the Greek Festival in Camarillo. They had amazingly fresh and homemade Greek food and now I crave it. Are there any authentic Greek restaurants or Take-out places on the Westside that anyone can recommend? Nothing fancy or pricey - just for every day to go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Mama Voulas is all I know on the westside...

    not being the greek food expert, I can't vouch for the authenticity but there's a thread below...

    Link: http://mamavoulas.com/

    1. I get Greek to-go all the time at:

      Delphi Greek Cuisine
      1383 Westwood Blvd.
      (310) 478-2900

      There's also (but I've never been or seen it, so?):

      Greek Kabob
      11911 W. Olympic Blbd.
      (310) 477-3305

      2 Replies
      1. re: JBC

        Delphi has been closed by the health board in the past and a visit there within the past year -- the lunch group was going there, I couldn't get them to go elsewhere -- saw a bug on my plate. Never again!

        1. re: JBC

          I've been to Greek Kabob several times. It's mostly a fast-food lunch or takeout spot. The AC isn't too strong so be careful on hot days. The food is OK, nothing special but tasty and a good respite from other fast food options in the area.

        2. mama voula's is great. and has great prices too

          1 Reply
          1. re: jbelle

            Your right! I just checked Mama Voula's menu on menupix.com and, execpt for the sandwiches, her prices are "Meaningfully" lower then Delphi's.

          2. Being the son of two Greek immigrants and having my family cook Greek food night after night, as well as traveling extensivly in Greece, I have developed a pretty good understanding of Greek food. I feel I have the authority to say that the simple answer to your question is no, there are no authentic greek restaurants on the westside (or in the LA area for that matter).

            However, that still doesn't mean there are foods that do a decent enough job of imitating the real thing (which is what I'm sure you tried at that Greek festival). I hear that Petro's in Manhattan Beach is the best in LA (as far as authenticity goes), but it is also pricy.

            I would keep an eye on when Greek churches hold their festivals. I know St. Katherine is having their festival in the summer, maybe July?, where you can get some decent greek food.

            Outside of Greece (or maybe NYC's Asotria neighborhood), you'll have to do without the real stuff.

            6 Replies
            1. re: young_chower

              Thanks for your honesty. I feel the same way about Chinese food on the westside.

              1. re: young_chower

                Old string, but I thought I'd ask young-chower... what comes as close to "authentic Greek" in LA at all? Not the festivals... which i'm attending the Redondo one this weekend... but in general.

                From other threads, these are some of the most mentioned Greek restaurants: Mama Voula's, Great Greek, Sofi's, Delphi, Taverna Tony's, Alexis in Northridge, Papa Cristo's, Ulysses Voyage.

                1. re: diningdivala

                  Well this is a very tough question to answer, but I'll do my best.

                  To be honest, I have eaten at very, very few Greek restaurants in the LA area. However, my parents (who were born in Greece and lived there for many years) have eaten at most of them, including Ulysses Voyage at the Grove, Mama Voulas, Papadakis Taverna, Papa Cristo's, Taverna Tony, Sofi, and others... so I asked them.

                  They said that besides some restaurants which are down right terrible (like Daphnes Greek Cafe- yuck), the majority of the restaurants do an across the board decent job at imitating real Greek food. If Greeks were to go in there, they would definetly recognize the dishes being served, but the execution would not be right, and hence not authentic.

                  Part of this I believe is the nature of real Greek food. Real Greek food can be unappealing to the American palette. Real, made in Greece feta has an intence, rich flavor that many Americans would be overwhelmed by. Also, Greek "maherefto fieto" (home cooked food) is relatively oily. This is because Greeks love olive oil, and they take bread and clean up all the oil of the plate (or at least I do). But most Americans would find many Greece dishes, done correctly, too oily.

                  When it comes to gyros (pronounced yhee-roh) nothing in America comes close. Period. This includes the places in Chicago's Greektown. The American gyro is just completly different, especially the meat. The gyro meat in Greece is just way better in quality, and it isn't the compressed "Grecian delight" meat that all American places use, but rather many thinly cut layers of meat places on top of one another, slowly spinning with a tomato on top so the juices flow down the meat. It is a shame that you can't get a real gyro in LA. The first person who does will make an absolute fortune, because once Angelenos try the real deal, there is no going back.

                  Another huge problem with Greek restaurants in the LA area (and elsewhere) is the middle eastern influence. Don't get me wrong, Greek food has a middle eastern influence. But you will NEVER see hummus in a restaurant back in Greece. In fact, I would bet that most Greeks have never even heard of hummus. The pita bread in Greece is also different. It is not the pocket pita bread that most Middle-Eastern places use, but rather like a slightly fluffy pita bread (kinda close to Trader joe's "Middle-Eastern Flat Bread"). Of course these things are small quibbles, but when one talks about authenticity, they must be taken into account.

                  So what's the most authentic? It's hard to say. The most recent Greek restaurant that my parents went to is the one by LAX, called Angeliki's taverna, that is noted below by epop. They said it was your standards place, tasty, but not authentic or outstanding. But like I said, this is the case with most Greek restaurants. I hear from other local Greek-Americans that Petros is one of the better places. My mom also mentioned that a lot of Greeks enjoyed a place in the valley called the Great Greek or something like that. Truth be told, when LA Greek-Americans go out to a Greek restaurant, its usually to enjoy the live Greek music (which is usually why my parents go).

                  Quite frankly, I would just sample the usual Greek restaurants and pick your favorite. Is the food 100% authentic? No, but it's still tasty. Just start planning a vacation to Greece, where you can get really amazing lamb chops and other meats in the Peloponnese, absurdly fresh seafood in the coastal regions and on the islands, fresh bread and sweets on every corner, and many sinful gyros everywhere.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1. re: young_chower

                    Fantastic response!! mmmmm.... olive oil...

                    This was really helpful, young chower. I haven't been to Greece, but I've been to some amazing Greek festivals and feel I have had the real thing, to a degree. (I at least do know the correct pronunciation of gyro!) And one thing I've learned about Greek food is how different it can be from village to village, island to island. Like that dessert bougatsa (spelling is wrong, I'm sure) is basically the same thing as galaktabouriko. Kind of a custard-filled baklava, is the best way I can describe it. I'm in LOVE with that dessert, had it made by hand by an older church woman in Portland, OR (I forget where's she's from in Greece). I think Petro's calls it bougatsa, but a bunch of other places call it galaktabouriko. Anyway, it's just like any other cuisine (a la barbecue in the States).

                    This just made me salivate for a tasting tour of L.A.'s Greek restaurants. I'll grab my friend who goes to Greece about once a year, and we'll report back.

                    1. re: diningdivala

                      Bougasta and galaktabouriko are actually different dishes, with galaktabouriko having a syrup while bougsta does not.

                    2. re: young_chower

                      so true. there are no real greek restaurants. tony's captures it at times. who else serves horta, for example? but yes, hummus isn't greek. and neither is salmon, although they do serve it on the islands, importing it from holland.
                      part of it depends upon which greek food one is talking about. seafood, meat, mezzedes? each of these in greece is its own specialty. + then there is the home cooking, something different again.

                      disappointed to hear about angeliki's not being fantastic, as i know they would like to serve real home cooking of greece.

                      yes, i miss greece too. but i think we can cook much of it here, find bits of it here and there.

                2. There is a new place on Wilshire called the Green Olive. Its on Wilsire between Barrington and Bundy, in the strip mall with Ross and Savon.

                  I've been a couple of times and I havn't been disapointed. Its like a gyro/falafel/kabob place. Prices are under $10 for a meal.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bigipps

                    a new greek place with home cooking only has opened by LAX but i don't know its address or name. i understand they make fresh lamb daily.

                    1. re: epop

                      any idea of the general area?

                      Petit Cafe is in El Segundo....more of a mix of different mediterranean cuisines me thinks....its pretty good. In a minimall on sepulveda by Sizzler.