Good things come in small packages. It can be said about jewelry, it can be said about the cowboy boot keychain I bought at a Montana airport in 2014, and it can be said about Falafel Chee. This weekend-only lunch stand in Culver City’s West LA International Market is no wider than its owner’s wingspan, and the falafel he fries up are stunners. There are only two options on the menu - platter or pita wrap. I opted for the platter, which came with falafel, homemade hummus, and tahini, as well as mango and tamarind sauces that Iraqi owner Manaf Alsudaney ships in from the Middle East. Unlike Israeli falafel, these Iraqi ones are made from a pure garbanzo mix - without any additional herbs or spices. The outcome is crispy, but fluffy so that they absorb the sauces and maintain their crunch, but are also easy to chew. Next time, I’ll be opting for the pita wrap instead of the platter, so that all of the sauces, pickled turnip, and crunchy falafel can get to know each other even better. Even though you’ll likely end up eating in your car, Falafel Chee deserves a spot on your weekend lunch rotation.
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