When the craving for well-spiced kebabs or garlicky basturma hits, most Angelenos head to Glendale or Little Armenia to get their fix. Grilled meats, pickled veggies, stuffed grape leaves and lavah await at these six delicious options for Armenian and Middle Eastern cuisine in L.A. They include a long-standing sandwich shop and market, as well as a small, family-run eatery with a collection of Russian and Armenian sodas to wash down your meal.
Carousel Restaurant in Glendale has been open since the ’80s. They serve Middle Eastern/Lebanese cuisine, including a wide variety of Lebanese appetizers (meza). On Friday and Saturday nights, there is live music and dance performances. Khloe Kardashian told Food & Wine that Carousel is her family’s favorite Armenian restaurant. “We order chicken kebab skewers, hummus, grape leaves, rice pilaf, pita bread and cheese boreg—a buttery pastry filled with different cheeses. It’s very authentic, very Armenian,” she said. A second location can be found near Little Armenia.
Elena’s is a comfortable and casual place in Glendale. Hearty portions of tender lula kebob are accompanied by rice, pickled veggies, salad, pita, and zesty garlic sauce. Portions are large and prices are reasonable, while service is friendly and quick. In addition to the meat dishes, other popular items include lentil soup and stuffed eggplant.
This small Russian/Armenian place is an excellent spot for beef dumplings and lula kebob at reasonable prices. Plus, they also serve interesting sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages, like a bottled tarragon and lemon soda. Guests may dine in, though many prefer to take their sizable portions home as take-out.
Family-owned and authentic Marouch is tucked into a strip mall in Little Armenia. They bake all of their pita in a wood-burning oven. The bread warmly compliments dishes like fried frog legs, kebab, lamb shanks and farrouj—a whole, barbecued chicken that guests must order two at a time, two hours ahead. For dessert, try the pistachio and rose rice pudding with a Lebanese coffee.
Located in downtown Los Angeles, this pretty restaurant and lounge specializes in upscale Armenian and Lebanese cuisine, plus craft cocktails. Entrees include kebab and shawarma, or guests may order flatbreads, savory pastries, hummus or other delectable sides to share. They serve lunch, dinner and brunch, plus have a happy hour (3-7 p.m.) where deals on food and drink can be scored. During brunch, guests can enjoy an Armenian Breakfast Board that includes haloumi cheese, basturma, boiled eggs, olives and more with pita.
This Armenian deli is where Angelenos go to get an especially flavorful basturma sandwich. Basturma is a type of cured beef, similar to pastrami but stronger. At Sahags it is served thinly sliced on bread with onions and pickles. The shop also sells soujouk (a spicy sausage), various sundries, sides and beverages.