Open since 1980, Falafel Arax is another East Hollywood institution and home to some of our favorite falafel in the neighborhood. Seriously, we have an in-house company rule that if we’re ever within a half-mile radius of this tiny strip mall spot, a drop-in is mandatory. As the name suggests, the falafel is the star, but their shawarma is almost just as good. Luckily, you can just order the combo plate and get both at the same time.
There are some things we like about this plate, and then there are other parts that are kind of forgettable. The falafel has a light and creamy mix with hints of garlic and cumin, and comes with pickled turnips and yellow peppers. But the lettuce side salad with its dousing of creamy tahini dressing might end up sitting in our fridge indefinitely.
Shawarma French Roll
This pressed sandwich is tangy, saucy, and full of tender beef shawarma. The bread is crispy on the outside but still chewy and tightly holds together big chunks of beef, tomato, and onions. The only other ingredient here is their garlicky tahini sauce that instantly makes everything a million times better.
Lamb Tongue Sandwich
Stewed chunks of lamb tongue get some needed acidity from sliced tomato in the shop’s chewy bread rolls. The tongue is extremely tender and absorbs whatever you throw on top of it, so we strongly recommend plenty of tahini.