That it exists nowhere else in the world, that it is of mixed and dubious cultural origins, or that its architecture is not unlike a Hot Pocket shouldn't necessarily preclude this from the Best Of category — the wowshi at Bella Pita is, indeed, the best. For nothing but best could so aptly describe the balanced yet playful fusion of textures and flavors housed in such an unassuming sandwich, with such a silly name.

From disks of dough, the dexterous flour-specked hands of its cooks form sandwich pockets in the open kitchen. Filled with a choice of chicken, ground beef, cheese, or beans, or eggs for breakfast, then sent through an impingement pizza oven to order, the smell of baking bread fills the small shop and the wowshi emerges steaming. Pillowy like Israeli pita and lightly crusty like calzone, often reminiscent of panini, with occasional empanada-esque tendencies, and the flavor of its seasoned innards thoroughly absorbed into the walls of the bread.

Embellish with shredded cabbage, tomato and purple onion, and the “herb dressing,” and then take it to go. Dine-in seating at Bella Pita consists of only three bar stools and a thin metal counter, but In-N-Out, just four doors down, has plenty.

Bella Pita: 960 Gayley Ave., Westwood Village; (310) 209-1050.

LA Weekly