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Restaurants & Bars 4

Carousel in East Hollywood

lil mikey | Jun 28, 200505:45 PM

It all started out okay. I was seated next to some foreign men who were talking politics. As I was alone, it was fascinating to hear them describing some country (I never figured out which one) where the current dictator would have to leave the country if he ever lost power.

I ordered a meze plate with falafel, taboule, hummos, baba ganoush, roasted eggplant and tomato and sliced bell peppers. It came with bulgar or rice (I picked bulgar) and pita and a nice plate of olives and pickles (the pink ones). Now I know I’ve used the wrong words for some of these items, but I never remember the words appropriate for the particular nationality.

Anyway, the dish came out and it looked okay. The baba ganoush was so so, the hummos was pretty good, the taboule (all ½ tablespoon) was good, and the bulgar was okay. It also came with more pita sliced up with a tomato/pepper paste spread on it. I liked that. But the eggplant/tomato clump was mushy and what is this?

Tap tap tap went my knife on the two stones there on the plate. They looked like the old hard skateboard wheels, and were about the same density. I should have known better than to be so persistent with them, but hey, there they were so I decided to try.

Finally I realized that if I wedged my knife into the hole just so, and then applied a burst of force by kind of hammering down on it, the little bugger would crack. And crack it did, with a little snap and then kind of crumbled into a half and two quarters and a bunch of dry little crumbs.

Now I’m a sucker for a good falafel. I love the ones at Sunnin where you actually see the guy dip the scooper into the mix and then plop it into the oil. It’s so hot and fresh and tasty, with a crusty outside and a soft inside.

That’s not what they serve at Carousel. There’s no way this thing was made recently, and it was way overcooked. When I bit into one of the quarters, it was a hard crunch…like I was biting into an ice cube. And the flavor can best be described as grainy old oil sprinkled with paprika or something.

I vaguely remember having a problem with the food last time I went there, too, but I’m always hopeful that restaurants will change for the better over time. I got suckered this time.

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