Dear Mr. Gold:
When I was a younger man I took a series of trips to Great Britain. After a night in the pub, invariably I would be as hungry as a man could get after drinking for six hours. Staggering, I would ask the nearest bobby for directions to the nearest kebab shop. Usually I would be escorted to said shop by a friendly policeman. (Try that in the U.S.) Long story short, I am looking for doner kebabs. Can I get them in Los Angeles? I am not talking about gyros or shwarma, although the meat could be interchangeable. When I ask for this delicacy at Middle Eastern establishments, they never seem to know what to do.
Johnny, Los Angeles
Doner kebabs, like shwarmas and gyros, are from the rotating-meat school of Mediterranean sandwiches, carved off a cylinder, garnished extravagantly, and wrapped in thin bread. Its absorption qualities are legendary. You can find a reasonable doner kebab in the Turkish place in the food court of the Westside Pavilion, but the best ones in the city at the moment are probably in the new Spitz in Eagle Rock, made as a crispy, oozy pressed sandwich stuffed with shaved lamb and beef, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers, and both yogurt and a thin, mean chile sauce that gives the sandwich an authoritative zing. It is an admirable sandwich. Spitz may have the feel of a chain restaurant waiting to happen, like a hip, doner-kebab-intensive alternative to Chipotle, but the iced coffee is first rate, there is decent gelato, and you can sit all afternoon on the umbrella-shaded patio if you are so inclined. 2506 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, (323) 257-5600.