L.A. is Having an Israeli Falafel Moment (Capped Off by NYC Chef Einat Admony’s Visit This Week!)

Between Pico’s Kosher corridor and the Valley there has never been a shortage of good falafel in Los Angeles.  And the past few years have seen some new spots worth getting excited about (Joe’s Falafel in 2012, Hummus Bar Express in 2013). But since the beginning of the year there has been an explosion of new and delicious Israeli falafel joints, enough to make it feel like L.A. might be on the brink of having a falafel moment.  Here are four new’ish falafel places all worth checking outm and, if that isn’t enough, the chef behind New York’s best falafel is doing a series of dinners  in L.A. week.  Details about that are at the end of the post…

The Newly Expanded

IMG_9606Name: Ta-eem
Address: 7422 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
Phone: 323-944-0013
Falafel in Pita Price: $6.95
Laffa: Yes ($9.95)
This popular but tiny falafel shop on the lunch (and t-shirt) wasteland that is Melrose Ave. isn’t tiny anymore. At the end of last year this small lunch counter with limited seating took over the hair salon next door, and morphed into a full fast-casual restaurant with plenty of room and loads of places to take a load off.  The one thing that didn’t change? The delicious menu of shawarma, kebabs, merguez and, of course, falafel, topped with their vast assortment of salads, and all served on fluffy Israeli style pita or laffa.

The Beverly Hills Surgeon

IMG_7958Name: Dr. Sandwich
Address: 9113 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills
Phone: 310-278-7777
Price: $6.95
Laffa: Yes ($9.95)

At the beginning of this year Beverly Hills got its own Israeli falafel specialist in the form of Dr. Sandwich.  Order at the register and then continue to the salad and pickle bar to chose your toppings.  They have laffa available, but when they first opened they were touting the pita as being par baked and shipped directly from Israel.  They’ll add shoestring fries to any sandwich if asked.

The Pico Corridor New Classic

IMG_9756Name: Grill N Pita
Address: 8532 W Pico Blvd, Pico Robertson
Phone: 310-657-2624
Price: $6.50
Laffa: No

If you were as big a fan of the shawarma schnitzel combo as I, you’ll be sad to learn that Pita Way on Pico closed up shop awhile back.  The good news is they’ve been replaced by an equally good (if not better) falafel place called Grill N Pita.  There’s no schnitzel/shawarma combo (that we know of) or laffa, but their hand cut french fries are the best of any of the places on this list.  And that alone will bring us back.

The Trendster

IMG_9844Name: Fala Bar
Address: 7751 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
Phone: 323-424-7131
Falafel in Pita Price: $8
Laffa: No

By far the trendiest of the brunch, Fala Bar touts itself as being vegan (sorry shawarma fans) and organic. This take out only storefront has a few tables on the sidewalk where you can eat your falafel salad, platter, or in a pita sandwich.  In addition to serving stuff like kale and quinoa, their falafel come in different flavors, including a no holds barred spicy falafel and a mildly sweet “sweet potato” falafel.

The Out of Town Pop Up

Green falafel @ Taim

Finally, if you are a true falafel aficionado you have likely heard of New York Chef Einat Admony- or at least her insanely popular West Village falafel spot Taïm. She’s in town this week doing a series of dinners at Mauro’s Cafe inside the WeHo location of Fred Segal tonight, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.  It doesn’t look like there’s any falafel on the menu (it will likely be dishes that she serves at Balboosta and Bar Bolonat) but word is she’s testing the waters for expansion to the west coast.  Taïm in Los Angeles?  Yes, please.

Get more details about the dinners, and buy tickets here.


Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.