The stretch of Pico Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Beverly Drive features dozens of Kosher restaurants. It can be hard to know where to turn to find the best food. Some people attempt to hit every restaurant on the route, but if you don’t have the constitution of an ox, a good place to start is Shawarma Palace, which opened in November.
Pinchas Sherf and wife Ayala run the tiny restaurant. He’s a contractor who worked on monstrous homes in the west Valley and fell on hard times due to the recent economic downtown. Unlike other people in the same position, he had a fallback plan. Before Pinchas Sherf moved to Los Angeles 22 years ago, he owned a shawarma restaurant in Netanya, a city that resides between Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israeli. He dug deep and unearthed his still formidable cooking skills.
The Israeli hotbed of Tarzana was a possible location, but Pico’s Jewish corridor proved more viable since the Sherfs were able to re-appropriate an existing restaurant space for less money and time. The interior features remnants from a previous tenant, including yellow and red seats that look like they dropped out of a 1970s rabbit hole. The walls tout references from the Torah and a list of the 10 Commandments, all in Hebrew. Order at the counter and take a tray to a table.
Most of the dishes revolve around shawarma, a blend of spit-roasted chicken and turkey. Several different shawarma plates are available, as are sandwiches on either French roll, pita or laffah, and even in a taco. They’ve also got “jailed” shawarma, which is cradled in flaky phyllo dough.
Pinchas Sherf generously explained the secret of his shawarma’s success. He said that a lot of shawarma cooks toss the meat on the spit with a little salt and pepper and expect the flame to perform magic. He knows better, marinating his meat overnight with salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, amba and curry. The meat becomes infused. He also uses dark meat, plucked from the thigh, which has a higher fat content than the breast, and thus, more flavor. The shawarma was really wonderful, and I look forward to eating it again, “jailed.”
September 1, 2022 at 12:19 AM
If you are looking for a taste of Israel, Los Angeles has plenty to offer. From small family-run restaurants that serve falafel and hummus to flavorsome Middle Eastern desserts, the Israeli dining scene in Los Angeles is the real deal. Los Angeles is a popular travel destination filled with everything from amazing food to world-class entertainment and more. But sometimes, it’s nice to get a break from all of the crowds and explore a little bit…and that’s why we came up with this list of 10 great Israeli restaurants in LA!
July 23, 2022 at 10:47 PM
If you are looking for a taste of Israel, Los Angeles has plenty to offer. From small family-run restaurants that serve falafel and hummus to flavorsome Middle Eastern desserts, the Israeli dining scene in Los Angeles is the real deal.Los Angeles is a popular travel destination filled with everything from amazing food to world-class entertainment and more. But sometimes, it’s nice to get a break from all of the crowds and explore a little bit…and that’s why we came up with this list of 10 great Israeli restaurants in LA!
Shawarma Palace: Something Israel and Palestine Can Agree Upon | The Los Angelicious Times
January 30, 2011 at 8:27 PM
[…] a month ago, my interest was piqued by Josh Lurie’s Food GPS article on Pico Boulevard’s latest Kosher restaurant Shawarma Palace. Wherever roasted meat is carved […]
Los Angelicious Times
December 19, 2010 at 3:30 PM
The best Lebanese shawarma I’ve had is at Hayat’s Kitchen in NoHo. They have amazing beef and chicken schwarma. I usually get the chicken because I’m a sucker for garlic sauce. Also its the only place in LA I know where you can get kibbeh nayyeh, which is like Lebanese steak tartare.
December 19, 2010 at 3:44 PM
Los Angelicious Times,
I had a good experience at Hayat’s, but didn’t try their shawarma. Time for a return trip.
Los Angelicious Times
December 18, 2010 at 2:31 PM
Boy this looks good. I love schwarma and some of the best kinds I’ve tried are all Lebanese, I’m very curious to see it done Isreali style.
December 18, 2010 at 4:21 PM
Los Angelicious Times, where would you recommend trying Lebanese shawarma in Los Angeles? And what animal do you prefer?
December 14, 2010 at 5:24 AM
Great to meet you at Artisanal LA Josh. I am so excited to try this place. I haven’t had a decent shawarma since I left Barcelona!
December 14, 2010 at 9:39 AM
Good meeting you too. I didn’t realize Barcelona has good shawarma. I really need to visit for a lot of reasons.
December 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM
Wow. Looks AWESOME. Must try soon.
Tweets that mention Food GPS - Shawarma Palace – Los Angeles, CA – December 13, 2010 -- Topsy.com
December 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by glutster, foodgps. foodgps said: Shawarma Palace, home of my favorite shawarma in Los Angeles http://su.pr/AYHmcs […]
December 13, 2010 at 5:38 PM
Damn. Now I want one. But I am not driving there.
December 13, 2010 at 6:10 PM
This shawarma is worth a 30-minute drive. Don’t let the distance dissuade you.