>> Le Doner Kebab Grec | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday 1 September 2022

Le Doner Kebab Grec

Stand on La Tijera Blvd.

(One of a couple locations, check vendor for weekly schedule)
๐Ÿ…ฟ️ Parking in busy plaza is usually possible.
๐Ÿ’ฒ Cash and payment apps only.
๐Ÿฅค No Alcohol.

There may not be a French flag hanging from the makeshift tent that houses Los Angeles's newest doner kebab stand, but anyone that has ever been out late in Paris for a "grec" will make the connection from the line of sauces set up prominently. These Nawhal's bottles are actually from Belgium, but might be more important to the sandwich than the bread or doner meat, and anyone claiming to have French-style doner kebabs without these would be laughed out of (any) town.

When the new business owner Tony welcomes you to his stand with a smile and delightful French accent, it all starts to make sense. He is originally from the city of Creil, a banlieue about 25 minutes train ride north from the Gare du Nord and the place his family ran an Algerian restaurant. Tony says he has sampled every single doner kebab in Los Angeles before deciding to open up and provide his take, the taste from home he misses most.

Nawhal's sauces imported from Belgium

When he speaks while assembling your sandwich, you can immediately tell this is a labor of love. Although this late night food is the product of 1980s Turkish immigrants in France just like it was a decade earlier in Germany, somehow the treat became known as a "sandwich Grec" to French people, or "Greek sandwich." There are certainly similarities with the Greek gyro, but this is halal food and has become popular with folks that keep these dietary standards.

Just like in France, this doner kebab stand seems popular with French-speaking north and west Africans, who are happiest to see him out in the evening and are already regular customers despite the business being only one month old. A small survey while waiting for the kebabs to be made had the Algรฉrienne sauce coming out slightly above Marocaine, with blanche and Andalouse available for those that avoid spice.

Tony preparing doner kebab meat with onions

When you order a doner kebab, Tony shaves enough meat off the spit and grills it with onions. A generator is turned on that powers a small bread toaster, and a sandle-shaped loaf is slathered inside with the sauce of your choice and thrown in one at a time. This bread proudly comes from Eclair and Cafรฉ in Torrance, the bakery Tony says has the best French bread in town. Like the sauces, the correct bread is essential for a proper French doner kebab ($10 each, below).

When the beef and lamb doner gets its edges nicely crispy from grilling, it is stuffed in the now toasted bread. A combination of lettuce and finely sliced tomatoes and onions join the meat, finished off by another generous squeeze of sauce on top of everything. It is a lot of food for $10, the perfect sobering snack when you stumble out of a nearby bar.

Two doner kebabs

If you have chosen your sauce wisely, that first bite through the soft bread and into the meat and sauces is the kind that will have you widening your eyes and nodding your head. The toppings are not overwhelming, making sure the most important parts of this sandwich shine through in every bite. There is no shortage of Greek or Turkish food and other doner kebab versions around town, but the French style is new and should be sampled at least once in your life.

Currently on Friday afternoons and through the evening, Le Doner Kebab sets up in front of the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City. Tony lists his hours as beginning at 15:00 this day but starts service there closer to 13:00 as people leave after Friday prayer and crowd his stand. Here back on the Inglewood-Westchester border, his service is more oriented towards those in the nearby nightclub and the residents of the neighborhood that are dearly missing their sandwich grec from back home.

A "Grec" in front of their sign


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