PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Rachael”

As is customary on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we’ll profile a random reader to get their recommendations for the best spots to lunch near their work. This week it’s Rachael, a chick with a knife looking for the best falafel in L.A.

Name: Rachael

Occupation: I’m ½ of Chicks with Knives – we do lots of things but are known for our roaming supper club. We’re also launching PERISHABLE: A Pop-Up Pickle Shop this week. The first incarnation will be on Sept. 12th at Starry Kitchen. We’ll be selling pickles and doing a pickling demonstration. We’re super excited. It’s gonna be fun!

Where in L.A. do you Work?: Mid City

Favorite Kind of Food: For a specific dish, it’s a three way tie: Falafel, Fish Tacos or Moules-Frites. More generally, I just like to eat fresh, seasonal food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Potatoes baked in foil. Shudder.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: Ooh. Let’s see…I love the Moules-Frites at Comme Ca (8479 Melrose Ave, WeHo), Hungry Cat (1535 Vine St, Hollywood) and Café Stella (3932 W Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake). Fish tacos from Tacos Baja Ensenda (5385 Whittier Blvd, East L.A.), El Siete Mares (2729 E Cesar Chavez Ave, Boyle Heights), Cactus Mexican Food Number 2 (4370 Beverly Blvd, Hollywood) and of course Ricky’s Fish Tacos (1400 Virgil, Hollywood). (Though truth be told, Suzanne, the other “Chick” makes the best fish tacos imaginable.)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Suzanne is my only co-worker and she’s usually at home for lunch with her little ones, so I do ladies lunch as often as possible with my girlfriends who can. We love Joan’s on Third, Mercantile, Gjelina, Eva, Little Next Door and Lucques. For quick lunches, I walk over to Loteria at the Farmers Market, Umami Burger (850 S. La Brea) , City’s Best Chicken (5303 W Pico Blvd, Mid City), Golden State (426 N Fairfax) or go down Pico for a falafel. If for some reason I’m in Culver City around lunch, I always feel the lure of Tito’s (11222 Washington Place). Mostly for sentimental reasons…I don’t think it’s for everyone, but I love it.

The farthest place you’ll drive for lunch on a normal day? I’ve been known to drive to Santa Barbara or San Diego for a taco then come right back. More often though I’ll find an excuse to go to Tarzana and hit up Hummus Bar (18743 Ventura Blvd). You can get falafel AND sweetbreads. Kinda fab.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? This question was harder than I expected! I have family in Chicago; Grenada, Spain and Santiago, Chile so lunch in any of those places would be amazingly lovely (and I love the way Spaniards are deeply commited to lunch) But for all my talk of fish tacos, I’m still going to say Copenhagen. Smørrebrød is one of the world’s best concepts and am a bit fanatical about herring. So…yea…Copenhagen. Mmm. (Editor’s Note: Speaking of Copenhagen, did you see Profiled L.A. Lunch’er Betty‘s great article in the L.A. Times about Copenhagen on Sunday?)

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers in L.A.? Where is your favorite falafel?

Well, first things first…  did you see Lunch’er Julie’s profile last week?  She recommends Pita Bar & Grill on Fairfax.  Got your own recs for Rachael? Leave them in the comments. And if you’d like to be next week’s Profiled: L.A. Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d want to nominate), email me-



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    Try Falafel Arax at 5101 Santa Monica Blvd. Tiny, cash only, great falafel wrap.

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    I’ll try that! I don’t actually like Pita Bar and Grill so much…too gourmet for me. Honestly, I still haven’t recovered from losing Eat-A-Pita on Fairfax and Pita House on Melrose. Sigh. They do have good falafel in Denmark though! LOL.

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    Marouch on Santa Monica!!! Hands down.

    I never really understood how people could eat falafel sandwiches until I came here. The shawarma, especially the lamb, is also ridiculously tasty!

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    In L.A., I still haven’t found falafel better than Elena’s in Glendale, though there are certainly other good versions. Last night’s falafel with parsley-flecked tahini sauce was good at Itz Kosher in Studio City.

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    I recommend the falafel at Falafel Palace in Northridge (how can you argue when “falafel is in the name?!) and at Itzik Hagadol in Encino. Both are pretty impressive.

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