Sham’s BOGO Syrian Pizza is Surprisingly Great
Santa Monica lunchers can not live off of Bay Cities alone, so when I heard that Sham- an Arabic restaurant on Lincoln and Santa Monica, known for their shish kebab and tabouleh- was now serving “Arabic Pizza” I was completely intrigued. When I heard you could get 2 for 1 Arabic Pizzas for takeout or delivery, I headed right over!
While Sham’s regular menu is mostly over the $10 ML price range, they do have a menu of shish kebab lunch specials for around $10, and a bunch of sandwiches for around $6-7.
Their specially, the “Ayres Sandwich”, is like a Middle Eastern panini filled with spiced ground meat, and is perfectly delicious… but I was there for the pizzas!
The pizzas are 10″, and there 10 to choose from- with ingredients like feta, sauteed eggplant, chicken shawarma, dried yogurt, and pomegranate sauce. But don’t let the toppings fool you… these are actually just regular pizzas, as opposed to Mediterranean flatbreads, and every single one of them is topped with mozzarella cheese. Not quite like a pizza from Pitfire, but not entirely Middle Eastern either. It was much more like real pizza than I expected.
The chicken shawarma pizza ($11.95), which came topped with their popular garlic sauce, black olives, sliced tomato, artichoke, and mozzarella, seemed like an obvious choice. Almost like a Middle Eastern “white pie”, the chicken was tasty, and the whole thing had a nice garlic flavor from the sauce. The only negative would be if you’re hoping for some kind veggie explosion… the olives, artichoke and tomatoes were kind of scarce, but it didn’t matter to me. I could eat this pizza a few days a week, easy.
We were also intrigued by the Mouhummara Pizza, with its interesting sounding “pomegranate sauce”. It looks like a pretty standard pizza, but the looks are definitely deceiving on this one. That “red sauce” is made from a mix of red roasted chili peppers, tomatoes, walnuts, olive oil, and pomegranate sauce… and the sweet and sour tang from the pomegranate gives it a completely unique flavor. It wasn’t until later I realized we might have made a mistake by choosing this over the unfortunately named “Beefy Pizza”, which also had pomegranate sauce- but was topped with ground beef and carmelized onion. Clearly beef is better than no beef, and I will definitely be trying this one on the next visit.
The biggest problem with the pizzas is that almost all of them are $11-13 and they are too small to share… but, Sham has been offering a special deal since March: buy one get one free pizza for take out or delivery. $13 is a bit too expensive for these small pies… but $6? That’s a great deal- and taking the pizza to go, or ordering it for delivery is a small price to pay for a lunch this interesting.
- I like Syrian food. I like pizza. How could Syrian pizza be bad?
- The pizza part was far better than I expected (and really, just like normal personal size thing sliced pizza)
- The idea of of regular pizza topped with chicken shawarma or pomegranate sauce sounds really good to me
- It has a nice crunch on the outside, but still chewy on the inside. I like the balance…
- They deliver!
- 2 pizzas for the price of 1 is a great deal
- Pizzas are way to small to be worth $12! And you can’t get the 2 for 1 deal when you eat in
- Delivery is a $20 minimum… so you’ve got to order at least 4 pizzas for delivery
- I would actually prefer something more like Middle Eastern flatbread. This is more like real pizza than I was hoping…
- Pomegranate sauce on pizza? No thank you.
- Mozzarella on my chicken shawarma? No thank you.
- I’m a pizza snob, and there’s no way I’m going to like this bastardization of my favorite food
Sham, 716 Santa Monica Blvd. (just West of Lincoln), 310-393-2913