$10 Tuesdays: Falafel King

In Westwood Village, at 1059 Broxton Avenue, lies a little joint called Falafel King. Being a fan of Middle Eastern food, I decided to take this week's $10 budget to check out their shwarama's secret recipe that I have recently heard great things about. Walking in, I was hoping to get someone to spill the secret ingredients in the spice blend on the spot, of course that did not happen, I just got suspicious looks when I asked about it.

I gave kudos to the little restaurant for having a few tables outside in the sun, on their rather nice and not too busy street - as the inside was not a hit. The place was somewhat bare and rigid, delightfully unlike the food they were serving.

On the interior stood a counter with different sides to accompany your order, and on the wall behind, a vertical spit was rotating their acclaimed grilled meat. Some white tables were placed inside, with not so much as salt and pepper on them.

As the interior didnt have much to offer, this restaurant did serve tasteful falafel and shwarma, a Middle Eastern dish where lamb, beef and chicken is grilled on a rotating spit, usually served in pita bread with salad and dressing, or on a plate with traditional sides.

A shwarma pita sandwich costed $7.50, and came inside a traditional pita bread, with salad, the shwarma meat, and tahini - a mild tasting sauce made from sesame seeds. The dish was served in a simple basket with deep fried potato chips on the side. Unless you have a soft spot for deep fried, the chips were just plain greasy.

The meat made Falafel King a place to revisit, with their secret mix of seasoning, the meat is given a deliciously distinct taste that has a hint of cinnamon and cloves.

If having your food served in a basket is not your thing, go for the shwarma plate, at $8.95, it came with the secretly seasoned shwarma, a pita bread on the side and the choice of three additional sides. Among the sides were rice, vegetable mixes, pickled turnips, hummus, bulgur salad, Israeli salad, and more.

If asked nicely, the men behind the counter will give falafel instead of one of the sides. I recommend this, after all, the place is called Falafel King. Their falafels justified the name, with a mix of grounded garbanzo beans and vegetables, and a thinly fried surface - soft and not too spicy, just as a falafel should be.

Yay! – Their hummus was creamy and homemade.

Nay! – Should have skipped the greasy fried potato chips.

Stay tuned folks, next week I will continue the tradition, taking my $10 student budget on a new culinary adventure!