Sah El Nom knows its Falafel 

(By Brett Callwood)

There are plenty of Middle Eastern food spots in the greater Los Angeles area, all with their own spin on a classic falafel. You might think that there are only so many things you can do with ground chickpeas, but you’d be very wrong. The combination of herbs and spices, the density, the dryness (or hopefully, the lack of) – all are key factors in a good falafel.

At Sah El Nom, on Venice Boulevard, the falafel is pretty damn good. We opted for the Falafel and Hummus Plate, which is pretty much exactly what you’d expect it to be. A generous portion of crispy falafel is served on a bed of salad with pickles and hummus. 

The falafel itself is fried and well-seasoned, which makes sense because apparently this establishment is famous for its falafel. The restaurant is shared with Al’s Hot Chicken, which makes for an interesting menu experience. You could order from one or both selections, should you so desire.

Once bitten, that same falafel proves itself to be just the right combination of crumbly and moist. Falafel traditionally contains onion, parsley, coriander, garlic and cumin, and we think we could pick out those various flavors here. But whatever they’re doing to it, it’s working. The flavor is majestic, like you’re biting into a little piece of the Middle East, right there on the streets of Culver City. 

Incidentally, the outdoor dining area at the front is welcoming and tidy, and the staff are welcoming and warm too. If you have any questions about the menu, they’re happy to help. 

The hummus on the plate is delicious too. Store-bought hummus is never in the same league as the awesome stuff that you get at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean eateries, and this is no different. 

One might think that hummus and falafel is going to be too much chickpea (or garbanzo bean, if you prefer). But nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, this plate highlights how versatile this humble legume is.

They point out that the meat here is halal, so that’s good to know when ordering the Chicken Wrap or the Beef Kofta Wrap, both of which look wonderful. We also ordered some fries, well done, and they arrived hot, crispy, and seasoned Middle Eastern style. 

The whole combination is tied together perfectly by the crisp and tart green pickles, and pickled turnips. Meanwhile, the pita bread that the plate is served with allows you dip away, or make your own wrap. Have fun with it.Sah El Nom Falafel is located at 10821 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles 90034.