Best Falafel - 2012
As the restaurant's name might suggest, owner Joe Mattar fries up a mean falafel at Joe's Falafel. Lightly spiced with bits of parsley, jagged and crunchy on the outside, moist and airy inside — you'd be hard-pressed to find a superior version in Los Angeles. But the kicker is the made-to-order laffa, which Mattar artfully flips, twists and turns with two long metal canes — imagine if sculptor Dale Chihuly had chosen yeast and flour as his medium instead of molten glass — before pulling out the finished product and laying it down on the counter still steaming and sizzling, scenting the entire room with the smell of fresh bread. The crispy falafel balls are rolled up bundle-tight in the fresh laffa and basted with fresh hummus and a handful of fattoush salad to make one of the best sandwiches this side of Tel Aviv. 3535 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Ste. 105, Studio City. (323) 512-4447, joesfalafel.net.