House of International Pancake

Where to find Yemenite flatbread

Dear Mr. Gold:

An Israeli friend bet me that I could not find any decent Yemenite Jewish food in L.A., in particular the local version of flatbread, known as melawach. Can you help me prove him wrong?

—Paul Pellegrin

Dear Mr. Pellegrin:

In short, you win. The kosher Yemenite food at Magic Carpet on Pico near La Cienega is more than decent, especially the delicious melawach — a bronzed, pizza-size fried Yemenite wheaten pancake that seems to have a thousand layers of crunch. You can do practically anything with a melawach, and Magic Carpet does, topping it with cinnamon and toasted nuts or crumbles of ground beef, a spicy confit of sautéed vegetables. Best of all is the melawach sprinkled with the spice mixture called za’atar, whose sumac-tartness and wild-thyme pungency marry perfectly with the rich denseness of the pancake. Don’t forget to get a bowl of the wonderful lentil soup. 8566 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., (310) 652-8507.

—Jonathan Gold

LA Weekly