For a few months, I/we've been on a Middle East/Mediterranean kick.
Eaten at the old Falafel King in Westwood Village, Tajrish on Washington in the Marina, the new branch of Zankou Chicken on Sepulveda near Santa Monica, Shamshiri (check the spelling) on Westood, Attari also on Westwood and Gaby's on Venice in Culver City.
Dang, I didn't realize I've been to so many places this summer.
Some quick reviews -- I wish I had the menus in front of me.
Falafel King: It's fine for lunch when you work in the area. I like the hummus and the lentil rice in particular. What I really crave at Falafel King (where I've been eating off and on for about 25 years or so it seems) is the hot sauce. They have the best tasting hot sauce I can remember. It's not just heat, just a great flavor.
Tajrish: I've only been going there recently. It's Persian (my dry cleaner is also Persian and he says he can recommend a better place near the Marina. I'll let you know.) I've tried a lot of dishes there and recommend the chicken combination that comes with grilled chicken and a sort of cutlet with ground chicken in it. I think it is called kurg, not sure. This is a nice place with real table clothes. I also like the fact that they put out some fresh basil and onions and olive oil to eat with pita while you are ordering. Fantastic rice and a great potato salad made with eggs and chicken.
Zankou: I'm sure you all know Zankou, an LA legend. This is the new one on Sepulveda, packed at lunch. I order number five, the quarter chicken with hummos, beets, tomatoes and pita. Best garlic spread anywhere. Perfect chicken. You know the drill. Easy to over eat, it's that good. Zankou deserves its legend status, I could eat there every day, I think.
Shamshiri: I'm not sure if this is Israeli or Persian or what. It's on Westwood in that Persian district between Wilshire and Santa Monica. I had a good lunch there: chicken and rice, but it was unremarkable. Good food, but not special food.
Attari: This is on a side street off of Westwood. We only went to Shamshiri because Attari is closed on Monday. Fantastic, unique sandwiches. At least, unique to me. Several kinds, I like the ground chicken, the ground beef. The soups are also wonderful. Great, out of the way lunch place. It's around the corner from Borders Books (south of Borders on the same side of the street as Borders.)
Gabys: Just had them cater a party. Great food. (BTW - I like the one in Culver City better than the one in Marina del Rey. Sort of a good cross between all of the above. They have the cutlets I like, good grilled chicken, great hummos and rice. One warning: They allow smoking as the restaurant is a covered outside area. They even have hookahs for you to try. It doesn't bother me, but it might bother some people. This is a favorite of the Culver City PD, never been there when there weren't cops inside. Which also doesn't bother me.