This year, L.A. has been the beneficiary of a falafel explosion of sorts, and it shows no sign of slowing. Bestia's Ori Menashe has a falafel project in the works, and ex–Brooklyn chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson have won hearts and mouths at Grand Central Market with their falafel stand Madcapra. But the biggest revolution in the falafel world to date is Dune in Atwater Village, a tiny shop run by Scott Zwiezen, who also operates Elf Cafe in Echo Park. At Dune, there are only a handful of menu items, and while we love the lamb sandwich almost as much, it's the falafel that dreams are made of. The falafel itself is made without any flour, which makes it less bready and spongy than some falafel. Fat, soft falafel balls with a hearty but delicately herbed flavor sit inside pliant pita bread that's been grilled to order, atop a smear of hummus, a handful of fresh herbs, pickles and a smattering of thin, fried potato spears. Is there a downside? This is a teeny operation, with people making bread and frying falafel to order, and food can take a while. We've waited as long as 40 minutes for food to arrive, and that's after a wait in line to get to the counter in the first place. It was worth it. That's damn good falafel.
Credit: Besha Rodell