A must: The Not Unhappy Hour at Spitz

It was lunch time and I found myself in Little Tokyo but not having a craving for Japanese food. This rarely happens. I wanted something savory and hearty and when I looked down the street, nothing appealed to me. Then I remembered Spitz.

The official name on their website says Spitz Restaurant – Home of the Döner Kebab. The place opened up in 2009 by a couple guys who went to Occidental College – apparently one of them discovered the tasty döner kebab while studying abroad in Spain.

Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Can this place actually be good?” I walked in and it was happy hour (Weekdays it’s 3p-7p and all day Saturday and Sunday). Actually, they call their happy hour “The Not Unhappy Hour.” I figured I’d partake in it and ordered the rose sangria that has mint, lime, and apple.

The flavor of the rose sangria was crisp and light – perfect for a summer day. It was paired well with the beef and lamb kebab wrap I got with feta, pepperonicinis, and hummus. There’s a nice warm flavor from the pepperoncini – they definitely don’t skimp on the fillings. The ratio of meat to veggies and sauces had the right balance. The best part of this place was how their portions are realistic. Right when I felt full, I had taken my last bite.

The combos come with either a wrap or sandwich with a side. Here’s the beef and lamb wrap with tzatziki and chili sauce and skinny fries that my dining companion had. The plain fries were surprisingly good… really good.

The fries had a great crunch and was seasoned perfectly – I was sad when I reached for one more and they were all gone. But I guess with all good things… you gotta leave wanting a little more so you know to come back. Next time, I’m coming back for the falafel sandwich and street cart fries!

Locations: Little Tokyo / downtown LA and Eagle Rock

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Carousel eats.

LA Weekly posted a venn diagram about what Angelenos think Armenian food is and what Armenians think Armenian food is. If you want good Armenian food in LA, you know to go to Glendale or Little Armenia. One of my favorite go-to spots is the classic restaurant Carousel off of Hollywood Blvd in Little Armenia (there’s another one in Glendale). It’s an Armenian/Lebanese place that is affordable and tasty.

The restaurant is tucked away in a small strip mall and is family run. If you go on a weekend, I suggest you make a reservation because this place gets packed. Before we ordered our meal, we were served the  complimentary pickled radish, pickles, carrots, cheese, and olives. I love the vibrant colors on this plate.

For our mezze, we ordered the following:

Hummus – The texture was creamy and they added a nice spot of olive oil you can mix in. I can eat this stuff with just a spoon and still lick the plate after. Yes, it’s that good.

Sarma (grape leaves stuffed with veggies) – These are smaller than what you may think but they definitely have a lot of flavor. It’s a little too tangy for me.

Falafel – These may look like mini donuts with sesame seeds but these are fresh out of the frier falafels over a salad. When they served this plate on our table, I could still hear the hiss and crackle of the oil. They are tasty but a little oily so it’s definitely worth splitting rather than hoarding it for yourself.

And for main course, I ordered the chicken and lamb kebab. The meats here are well seasoned and I’m never disappointed by the flavors. Don’t laugh but one of my favorite things about this dish is the side dish: bulgar wheat pilaf. I eat this stuff in heaping spoonfuls because of it’s buttery smooth texture and taste. The portions for the main course is often pretty big so I usually take the rest home so I have leftovers to gorge on the next day.

I know there are plenty of quality Armenian restaurants in LA but for me Carousel is an old habit and I always feel comfortable when I go there with a big group. What’s your favorite Armenian restaurant?