For Indian palates, the middle eastern kebabs seem somewhat underspiced and underwhelming. We have tried places like Raffis and Mandaloun in Glendale, Wahabs in Alhambra, and Sahara in Pasadena. In comparison, Indian kebabs are much more boldly spiced. Unfortunately, there are no good examples of restaurants serving a wide variety of Indian kebabs here in US. At best, they may serve a Shammi Kebab, the most popular spicy minced meat patty, and Boti Kebab, grilled marinated skewers of goat meat. (On a tangent, the best place in New Delhi is the Kebab Factory in Radisson - about 20 varieties of kebabs with matching beer repertoire)
The Kofta Kebab at the small Mediterranean Cafe in Pasadena is an exception to this - really well spiced. This small gem feels like a fast food place (they have standard plate orders ready before the cashier has counted out your change), but the food is excellent. In two visits, I found the $6.75 Kefta (Lule) Kebab dish served with Greek Salad (excellent tangy lemony dressing), Hommus and Pita, rice to be a real winner. Their garlic spread is quite good - actually, to my taste they are as good as Zankou's. If someone with more experience in Zankou's can compare the two, that would be great. But their hot sauce (a hotter version of Sriracha, it would seem from the texture) is excellent - with the rice.
I did not like the Chicken Shawerma that my daughter had the last time. Besides these two, they also offer a limited selection - Chicken Kebabs, Beef Kebabds, Lam Kebabs, and the traditional vegetarian selections.
273 Shoppers Lane (Lake and Del Mar)
Pasadena, CA 91101
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