Hummus Bar Express is Now Open (and Dominating Lunch) on the Promenade
Back in August, when word broke that Hummus Bar & Grill in Tarzana was opening an “express” location on the 3rd Street Promenade, I wondered just how excited Santa Monica should really be. After all, there was no guarantee that some of the best parts of the original (the fresh baked laffa, the all you can eat salads, the french fries in the sandwiches) would be making the journey down the 405. Well, last month Hummus Bar Express opened on 3rd between Arizona and Santa Monica and the answer is a resounding very excited. Santa Monica should be absolutely pickled tink. (See what I did there? Because, you know, there are a lot of pickles in Israeli food… and people say “tickled pink”, so I just took the first letter of… oh nevermind.)
As expected, there is no all you can eat salad option. But there is enough of the original in this express location to immediately make this one of if not THE best lunch option on or around the Promenade.
When I saw these two spits I started to feel good about what was going on, but the real joy came when I spotted this in the back of the kitchen…
Fresh baked laffa! I’m sure there are those who will rate Hummus Bar Express on their hummus, or the flavor of their falafel, or their other various salads, but I’m a bread man. To me, fresh baked bread can make up for a lot of other shortcomings. Luckily Hummus Bar Express doesn’t have many of those.
Sandwiches are the focus of the menu, and they offer that beautiful looking chicken shawarma cut from the spit, plus grilled chicken breast, schnitzel, beef kebab, and of course falafel. You can also just get veggies, and they also make a sabich- the traditional Israeli sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs.
You get your choice of pita, which is made at a factory every morning and sent in bags to the shop.
Or, for an extra $1, fresh baked laffa. Not much of a choice.
For $8 the falafel in laffa is the best deal. All the meat filled laffa sandwiches will run you $11, while the pita sandwiches cost $7-10. Each sandwich comes filled with your choice of any four of their salads/dips, and the list includes all the typical stuff: hummus, babaganoush, red cabbage, white cabbage, pickles, pickled lemom, egg salad, spicy eggplant, and Turkish salad. Mysteriously left off the list was Israeli salad and french fries, but they’ll put both in any sandwich for no extra charge if you ask. Naturally, we asked.
Oh, and make sure you get some of their hot sauce. It’s super freakin’ hot, but unbelievably tasty. And the best part is, you don’t have to drive up to Tarzana for it anymore.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Good Israeli food on the 3rd Street Promenade!? Am I dreaming?
- Fresh baked laffa FTW
- The pita is actually pretty great for not being fresh baked.
- You had me at french fries in the sandwich
- The falafel and shawarma are both super moist and flavorful. What more could you want?
- That hot sauce is pretty spectacular.
- I work near the Promenade, and seriously there are no good lunch options.
- Even though it’s “express” they have plenty of seating in the front and back
- Seriously… they put french fries in the sandwich?!
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- My favorite part of the original is the option for all you can eat salads. Sad that it didn’t make it down to Santa Monica
- I’m not a big bread person.
- Laffa is too much sandwich for me… so it bums me out the pita isn’t made fresh on site.
- Their hummus is kind of bland.
- Why would anybody want to eat on the Promenade?
Hummus Bar Express, 1333 3rd St. 310-260-1994