While my last post explored the horrors of abominable customer service in my pursuit of hummus, today I come to you with far better tidings. Thankfully my run of hummus denial is now over.
Amir’s Falafel is located in Studio City at the corner of Ventura & Colfax. Situated in the middle of a typical mini-mall, don’t let it’s humble appearance dissuade you from venturing inside, for once you do you will be richly rewarded. I used to eat at Amir’s all the time when animal flesh was my thing but I all but forgot about the place when I went vegan. I was reminded of Amir’s when Mr. Meaner of quarrygirl.com wrote a great review of it a few months back. Surely if the meaty stuff I’d had at Amir’s was as good as I’d remembered it, their vegetarian offerings would be equally good, right? Right indeed!
Still bearing a grudge of unrequited hummus love, I knew what I was after when I walked through Amir’s doors. While they don’t have a large menu, they’ve got a number of customizable options for vegans to enjoy, from pita sandwiches to a nice variety of Israeli style salads.
I went for the Falafel Plate, a generous assortment including a green salad with pickles, hummus (at last!), carrot salad, tabouli, beet salad and falafel. As pictured on their menu the plate would usually come with a nice looking cabbage salad, though it appears to be made with something creamy which may or may not be vegan, so I asked for the beets instead. I’m sure if I would have asked what the cabbage salad was made of they would have told me, but I actually preferred the beets so it worked out nicely for all involved. Along with the plate they also served two nicely toasted pitas, tahini, a spicy green sauce and amba (more on these in a minute).
Everything you see here was awesome. I am in love with their cute little bite sized falafels, fried fresh right in front you. I think this is the perfect size for a falafel, a concentrated little ball of love that you can pop in your mouth or eat out of a pita without it breaking off and crumbling all over the place. The folks at Amir’s know how to fry them to just the right shade of crispiness too… crunch crunch crunch all over the outside while still soft and chewy and chickpealicious on the inside. I’m not a falafel expert, but this is probably the first falafel I’ve had anywhere that’s actually had me craving to go back for more.
The hummus is very good, thick and creamy just the way I like it. While it might not be the best hummus on earth, its humble and common nature is both comforting and delicious. And best of all, served without attitude.
Both the beet and carrot salads are great, mildly spiced yet full of flavor. The tabouli is pretty good but maybe a bit plain. The green salad is fresh though it didn’t come with much of a dressing on it, so that’s what I used my tahini for, a fine tactic.
Back to the other saucy condiments. The green stuff, I don’t know what it’s called but it’s fantastic. They make it with cilantro and chili and it’s supposed to be spicy. The weird thing is that I don’t find it spicy at all even though others, such Mr. Meaner, have described it as “hot as hell”. Either way, the stuff rules and I suggest putting it on everything.
The yellow/orange sauce is the amba, a glorious concoction born of an incestuous meeting between Indian & Iraqi Jews made of pickled mango. It’s pungent, it’s pickled and it will make you pucker your face in delight. Like the green sauce, you’ll want to eat it all over everything. I like to tear off a section of pita, lather it up with some hummus, stuff it with a falafel or two, then drizzle both sauces all over that sucker and dig in.
Amir’s Falafel is in no sense of the word a fancy place. I already mentioned it’s in a strip mall, sandwiched between a Subway and an adult video store, but if you’re up for relatively cheap, quick and tasty Middle Eastern food, Amir’s has got you covered.
- No Hummus for You! Meeting the Hummus Nazi.
- Hy Mart Deli serves up the vegetarian goodness.
- Avocado hummus wrap at Hugo’s
- Kelp noodle salad with grilled tofu
- New location for Hy Mart Deli