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Falafel: Feed Your Face

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In all of my many many years of obsessing over food, there are only three food-stuffs that I would seriously consider as a Last Night on Earth meal option: Mashed potatoes and gravy. Sushi (o-toro, preferably). And falafel. Pretty uninspired stuff, I know, but for some reason, falafel falls into the category of Things I Could Eat Every Day and Never Grow Tired Of. I actually carried around a big bottle of Sriracha hot sauce on a two-week backpacking trip through Scandinavia for the sole purpose of seasoning the many, many, many falafel sandwiches I purchased from the many, many falafel stands all over that region.

What is it about the humble chickpea? Why is it so good when crushed, made into a dough, and fried? There's something serendipitous about the combination of warm, crunchy balls of ground chickpea and smooth, tangy hummus (also made from chickpeas! it's the new soy!), preferably topped with lettuce, tomato, pickled turnip, and copious amounts of tahini sauce. (I try to cram some tabouleh in there for good measure, too.) Chickpeas are also chock-full of protein and fiber, so falafel is a guilt-free indulgence.

When my falafel-cravings hit (which they do about two or three times a week), I have a few good options I can turn to. Roro's Chicken is a Lebanese joint in the middle of Hollywood; and boy do they make a mean falafel plate (not to mention their meat options). Their lettuce is fresh, the pickled turnips are crispy, and the hummus is just begging to be licked off the plate. Their pitas aren't freshly baked, but who cares when you've got awesome tahini sauce? They're also ridiculously cheap: $4.99 for a filling falafel plate, and $3.25 for chicken shawerma or a kafta kabab.