QUESTION: A most esteemed and lately protein-minded associate of Turkish-Philly extraction recently made a Proustian stumble on sojouk, the spicy sausage and a childhood staple, in the rough-and-ready deli case at Jons market. With all respect to that vital establishment, can she do better, and where?
ANSWER: Sojouk, the cumin-laden grease-bomb of the Armenian kitchen, is pretty irresistible in all of its incarnations, grilled and tucked into lavash with pickles and garlic sauce, sliced and layered into a pressed sandwich, or fried until the skin turns crackly crisp and the slightest pressure from your teeth sends fountains of paprika-red juice spurting across the room, probably onto your freshly dry-cleaned blouse. I’ve never met a sojouk I didn’t like, actually, but the fried nuggets of sausage at Marouch, lying innocently in their pottery bowl like so much chorizo at a tapas bar, are especially diabolical, the kind of sojouk that those tiny 11-ounce bottles of Lebanese beer were made for. The makanek, like tiny breakfast sausages doused in lemon juice, are pretty good too. Marouch, 4905 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 662-9325.