Westwood is a part of LA that needs to cater to a certain price point, what with thousands of UCLA students and even more office workers in need of affordable, quick meals for lunch and dinner. Falafel Inc. should provide a great option for budget diners looking for a vegetarian meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
The D.C.-based chain has opened in Westwood as of last week serving $3 pita sandwiches, $4 pita bowls, and $3 zaatar fries, with the menu rounded out with sauces like a spicy green jalapeno, a bright orange habibi, a spicy red, lemony garlic, creamy white mayo-base, or the original tahini. The basic menu also comes with a social mission: to use profits to help feed refugees around the world via a partnership with the World Food Programme, the leading humanitarian food organization.
Though the pita sandwiches are just three dollars, they don’t come devoid of flavor. Instead, the fresh pita are packed with lettuce, red cabbage pili salad, tabouli, tahini, and red sauce, as a standard variation, and of course the deep-fried chickpea fritters. Bowls come with falafel, tahini, red cabbage, tomato, cucumber, pickles, and zaatar chips, while the fries feature a heavy dusting of salty, savory zaatar.
According to the Washington City Paper, Falafel Inc. was founded by entrepreneur Ahmad Ashkar, founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, a nonprofit backed by Bill Clinton. The chain first opened in 2015 in Washington D.C., expanding to five East Coast locations, two in Mexico City, one in London, and another in Rio de Janeiro. The chain claims to donate a meal to refugees for every $10 spent in the restaurants. The chain also boasts strong Yelp reviews, with a darn-near perfect five star score across hundreds of writeups. With a prime location in Westwood, Falafel Inc. should be a hit with students, locals, and office workers looking for a healthy, affordable meal that comes with a good cause. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. daily.