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Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

16 Kebab Destinations in Los Angeles

Skewered meats from Armenia and Iran shine particularly bright in Glendale and the San Fernando Valley

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Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
| Joshua Lurie

Considering LA has such large populations from countries with kebab-rich traditions like Armenia and Iran, it’s natural that skewered meats are a strength across LA County. Prominent pockets in Glendale, North Hollywood, Sunland and the western San Fernando Valley are particularly strong. Of course, great kebabs aren’t completely limited to the (818) or the Middle East and Caucasus. Kebabs have become a global phenomenon. Thanks to the proliferation of restaurants, butcher shops, and street stands that understand how to grill, skewered meat has never been better in LA., making it tough to narrow this list down to 16 options. As previously noted, other Armenian meat markets also grill notable kebabs, but they require advance notice.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Meat Guys

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Emin Davoudi-Chigani runs Foothill Market & Deli in a Sunland strip mall and spun off the butcher shop as Meat Guys in early 2021. A printed menu lists proteins they can cook in an open-mouthed, stainless steel gas grill, but it’s just as easy to pull from display cases. The left case touts raw cuts like whole chicken, beef ribeye, and lamb leg. The right case holds marinated meats like pork baby back ribs, spicy chicken thighs, and lamb lule. Less common delicacies include Cervena venison ribs, Kurobuta pork, and marinated branzino chunks. Aluminum containers come with grilled tomatoes and peppers. Supplement from a grab-and-go refrigerated case by the entrance, which showcases salads and dips like kidney beans, yogurt cucumber, and several eggplant preparations.

Kebabs from Meat Guys on an aluminum tray with grilled vegetables and a variety of meats.
Kebabs from Meat Guys.
Joshua Lurie

Berezka Market &Kitchen

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The Tonoian family — mom Gaiane, dad Khachatur and daughters Ani and Lucy — relocated from Siberia, where they ran a food business called Iceberg for 25 years. They reemerged with Berezka in a Reseda strip mall in late 2021. The name translates to English as “birch tree.” Berezka sells imported goods, produce, and everything from eggplant roulade to house-made basturma and walnut-shaped cookies filled with caramel. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, typically by 2 p.m., the family offers “real meat on fire,” grilling proteins over charcoal in back, which they showcase in black bins when ready. They marinate pork ribs and shoulder chunks with paprika, onion pulp, coriander, and parsley and sell by the pound. Chicken lule, made with thigh meat and sold by the skewer, is firm, but juicy, served with a tomato-based sauce and a vibrant salad made with chopped red and white onions, pomegranate arils, and dill. The star of the show is whole fish, flaky branzino that sports crisp, savory skin and benefits further from a lemon squeeze. Berezka also grills filet mignon and beef lule.

Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon on a black plastic tray.
Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon from Berezka Market in Reseda.
Joshua Lurie

Tonir Cafe

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Gayane Movsesyan and brother David have run this Armenian restaurant near the Hollywood Burbank Airport since 2011. A tonir is a traditional wood-burning clay oven that’s frequently built into the ground. Tonir Cafe’s charcoal grill is more contemporary but still helps to maximize grandma Siranoush’s recipes. Standout skewers include pork loin, shish (sirloin), beef lule, fatty lamb ribs, and tapaka (spatchcocked Cornish game hen). Simple seasoning includes garlic powder and red pepper. Plates come with a choice of rice, French fries, or salad, plus two appetizers. That could mean hummus (classic or jalapeño) and pickled beets. Several kebabs are also available in pita sandwiches or a la carte.

Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Joshua Lurie

Armenian Lunch Truck

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The Kirakosyan family has parked their vivid truck in front of NoHo’s Royal Fresh Super Market since 2019. Red, blue, and orange stripes match the Armenian flag. The meaty menu delivers a devastating one-two punch. Armenian Lunch Truck serves excellent shawarma, and the action extends to the sidewalk, where cooks tend to an adjacent charcoal grill. Beef lule (ground meat), marinated pork ribs, and iki bir (cubed belly meat) are all notably luscious and smoky. Plates come with rice, Armenian salad, tzatziki (yogurt folded with minced cucumber), spicy tomato sauce, and grilled tomato and jalapeño. Lavash wraps are also available.

Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs in a tray with yogurt sauce and cucumber salad.
Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

Proshyan Best Shawarma

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Proshyan is a street in Yerevan with a historic reputation for barbecued meat. This nighttime stand in North Hollywood occupies a doublewide red pop-up tent on the sidewalk in front of El Super market and hangs a small Armenian flag by their spit. Proshyan serves some of LA’s best pork shawarma and grills kebabs over glowing mesquite charcoal embers. They mold beef and chicken lule (made with ground thigh) around stainless steel and also cook marinated pork shoulder chunks that are notably juicy for such lean meat. Other options include iki bir (marinated pork belly), iki bir skewered with skin-on potatoes, and chicken breast. Skewers come in lavash wraps or on plates with parsley, chopped white onions, sliced tomato, and enough lavash to form a pillow. Cash only.

Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

Malek's Grill & Kabob

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Malek Simani is from Tehran, Iran, and opened this strip mall restaurant near Pierce College 25 years ago. Son David now runs the front of house. They cook stainless steel skewers on an open-flame gas grill. They typically offer an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, but not during the pandemic. Royal Combo combines “everything”: beef tenderloin, chicken thigh, chicken koobideh (thigh), and beef koobideh (an 80/20 blend). David said they marinate the kebabs the “old school way” with yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, and “spices,” to savory, vivid effect. Plates come with hummus, salad, pita, grilled tomato and jalapeno, and saffron-stained basmati rice. Pay an extra $2 to upgrade to tart barberry rice.

Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Joshua Lurie

Tigranakert Meat & Deli

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Anna Ivanyan debuted this Armenian market in 2017, naming her business for an ancient city that Armenian king Tigranes the Great established which is now part of Turkey. Everything from the market’s large butcher case is available to grill by the pound over charcoal across the parking lot in Tigranakert’s production kitchen. Start with luscious beef lule, marinated iki bir (pork belly), and beautifully charred marinated sweetbreads, which are a fairly uncommon find. Plates come with rice and plenty of salads and dips to fill the two other compartments in a Styrofoam container. Options include ikra, spicy, smoky eggplant dip; and sweet, creamy shredded beet salad sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert on a white plastic tray.
Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert.
Joshua Lurie

Sam’s Kebab

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Sam Dumanyan is from a small town called Jrvezh located east of Yerevan in Armenia. He had a restaurant there and after he moved to Los Angeles, opened his eponymous restaurant in Van Nuys in 2021. Sam’s Kebab touts waterfall and blue-sky photo murals and specializes in skewers that he plucks from an enticing display case by the register and grills over charcoal either out back or in front. Simply seasoned, expertly grilled kebabs include pork ribs, lamb chops, and beef lule topped with chopped cilantro and red onion and served with fluffy rice pilaf, grilled tomato and jalapeño, lavash, and a colorful Armenian summer salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers tossed with a light vinaigrette.

Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Sam’s Kebab

Aria BBQ

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Sergeh Azorian and his parents grew up in Iran. His grandparents hail from Armenia. He first showcased the family’s culinary traditions at Aria Meat Market in Burbank, which dates to 2013. This butcher shop used to grill kebabs, and not just sell raw proteins. In 2021, they shifted grilling operations to nearby Aria BBQ. This grab-and-go strip mall restaurant with a steer horn logo offers no seating, but they do grill a la carte kebabs over gas, all available for sale by the skewer. Beef lule, chicken lule, and boneless chicken thighs are satisfying, but flame-red hot wings, drummettes infused with spicy paste, are even more addictive. Scored pork baby back ribs with crispy topside fat also stand out. Scour their refrigerated case for complementary salads and dips. Aria Butcher Shop also operates down Glenoaks Boulevard in Glendale, but they don’t grill at that location.

Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Joshua Lurie

Dvin Meat Market

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Hermine Abrahamyan’s side street Glendale butcher shop has a name that references Armenia’s ancient capital. This business doesn’t have a menu. Just ask or point and chef Artur Malkhasyan will cook any of the two-dozen meats in the case. They have one of LA’s largest lule selections, offering five varieties, including herb-flecked pork and memorably luscious lamb. Firm, ultra-savory pork jowl flaps and pork ribs are also worth a detour. Lesser-seen proteins like lamb liver, beef shoulder blade, and veal short ribs also get some love. As Lolo, who runs the front of house, made clear: “Just meat.” Don’t expect rice or sides.

Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Joshua Lurie

Mini Kabob

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Hovik Martirosyan and wife Alvard turned their tiny side street restaurant into a beloved Armenian kebab destination with help from social media savvy son Armen. Mini Kabob has built a national reputation in publications like The New York Times, which included them in “America’s Favorite Restaurants” in 2021. The family displays savvy with open-flame cooking on a workhorse gas grill behind their small counter. Highlights include juicy beef and chicken lule skewers and chicken thigh served atop fluffy rice with creamy red pepper dusted hummus, blistered tomato and jalapeño, onion, and parsley. Complimentary sides include silky eggplant caviar crafted with smoky roasted eggplant and bell peppers.

Kebabs plate at Mini Kabob
Kebabs plate from Mini Kabob in Glendale.
Farley Elliott

Art's Bakery & Cafe

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 Before the pandemic, Art’s Bakery was best known for ponchiks, fluffy Armenian donuts with fillings like fruit and custard. Simon and Angelia Grigoryan recently expanded this Glendale institution, which dates to 1998, adding an exhibition kitchen with a smoldering charcoal grill and fridge featuring five tiers of grill-ready skewers. Highlights include beef lule kebabs flecked with melted mozzarella and jalapeño, baby pork rib tips, and boneless country-style baby pork ribs. Plates come with fire-roasted tomato and mild Anaheim chile, lavash, raw onions and parsley, fluffy basmati rice or sliced oven-baked potatoes and a choice of two sides. Spinach yogurt salad and Armenian salad both lend welcome brightness.

Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery on a white tray.
Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery.
Joshua Lurie

Vernatoun Restaurant

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Vernatoun is a restaurant and banquet hall that’s excelled at cooking Armenian comfort food in the back corner of a Glendale strip mall since 2021. Lump mesquite charcoal bags are piled up behind a kitchen window, giving customers a small taste of their process. Luscious lule (ground meat) skewers center on either beef chuck roll or chicken thigh, which get seasoned with onions and spices and beautifully express charcoal smoke. Pork baby back pork ribs sport nice sears that don’t actually lock in juices, as the myth states, but clearly still help boost eating enjoyment. Kebab plates come with rice, grilled tomato and pepper, and a potent red pepper sauce folded with onions, paprika and parsley.

Lule kebab with fries and lavash at Vernatoun in Glendale.
Lule kebab with fries and lavash at Vernatoun.
Joshua Lurie

Hamlet's Kitchen

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This inconspicuous restaurant resides on Plaza Ararat’s back end in Unit Z and serves great charcoal-grilled kebabs to customers who eat at tables that wrap around trees. Longtime grill master Vic Sarkisyan is from Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, and has been a consistent presence in a tile-lined kitchen for Armenian-Russian-American owners who took over Hamlet’s Kitchen in 1997. Their pork kebabs are particularly great, especially khrchik, bone-in rib tip chunks that still have cartilage attached. This cut provides a wonderful chew that sheyka (boneless baby pork) can’t match. Sarkisyan limits seasoning to salt, pepper, paprika, and onion so the meat still shines. Beef lule and chicken lule (a blend of thigh and breast meat) resemble juicy accordions. Boneless chicken thighs are also strong. Bigger ticket items include succulent lamb chops and big rectangular sturgeon chunks with fatty skin. Plates come with white rice or fried potato slabs.

Lule kebabs from Hamlet’s Kitchen grilling over charcoal.
Lule kebabs from Hamlet’s Kitchen.
Joshua Lurie

Taste of Tehran

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Saghar Fanisalek hails from Shiraz and brings modern touches to Iranian cuisine at her sleek Westwood restaurant. She and Taste of Tehran even appeared on Top Chef Season 13. Flame-grilled highlights include ground beef koobideh, which is particularly good in a lavash wrap with roasted tomato, fragrant Persian basil, tangy sumac, onion salsa, radishes, iceberg lettuce, and herbaceous house dressing made with yogurt, mayo, and dill. Cornish hen is also notable, marinated in yogurt, saffron, onion, particularly good with zereshk polo (barberry rice). Trout might not technically qualify as a kebab, but this flaky butterflied white fish is marinated with garlic, yogurt, and saffron and sports crispy, savory skin, and is worth ordering.

Chicken kebabs with barberry rice from Taste of Tehran on a square plate.
Chicken kebabs with barberry rice from Taste of Tehran.
Joshua Lurie

Tehran Market

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This Iranian market has expanded in size and scope since Mory Pourvasei opened the business in 1987. Stepson Salimit Soheil became the managing partner 10 years ago and greatly expanded prepared food offerings, including charcoal-grilled kebabs on weekends in the back parking lot. He marinates skewers in a proprietary marinade that includes olive oil, fresh and powdered garlic, onions, bell peppers, and saffron. These flavors and the charcoal smoke infuse wonderful flavor in koobideh (ground beef or chicken), salmon, chicken thighs, and Cornish game hen. Offal lovers will appreciate more intense lamb hearts and livers. Plates come with grilled vegetables, potent torshi (pickled vegetables), and either lavash or sangak, a pull-apart whole-wheat flatbread.

Tehran Market kebabs with beef and salmon.
Tehran Market kebabs with beef and salmon.
Joshua Lurie

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Meat Guys

Kebabs from Meat Guys on an aluminum tray with grilled vegetables and a variety of meats.
Kebabs from Meat Guys.
Joshua Lurie

Emin Davoudi-Chigani runs Foothill Market & Deli in a Sunland strip mall and spun off the butcher shop as Meat Guys in early 2021. A printed menu lists proteins they can cook in an open-mouthed, stainless steel gas grill, but it’s just as easy to pull from display cases. The left case touts raw cuts like whole chicken, beef ribeye, and lamb leg. The right case holds marinated meats like pork baby back ribs, spicy chicken thighs, and lamb lule. Less common delicacies include Cervena venison ribs, Kurobuta pork, and marinated branzino chunks. Aluminum containers come with grilled tomatoes and peppers. Supplement from a grab-and-go refrigerated case by the entrance, which showcases salads and dips like kidney beans, yogurt cucumber, and several eggplant preparations.

Kebabs from Meat Guys on an aluminum tray with grilled vegetables and a variety of meats.
Kebabs from Meat Guys.
Joshua Lurie

Berezka Market &Kitchen

Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon on a black plastic tray.
Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon from Berezka Market in Reseda.
Joshua Lurie

The Tonoian family — mom Gaiane, dad Khachatur and daughters Ani and Lucy — relocated from Siberia, where they ran a food business called Iceberg for 25 years. They reemerged with Berezka in a Reseda strip mall in late 2021. The name translates to English as “birch tree.” Berezka sells imported goods, produce, and everything from eggplant roulade to house-made basturma and walnut-shaped cookies filled with caramel. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, typically by 2 p.m., the family offers “real meat on fire,” grilling proteins over charcoal in back, which they showcase in black bins when ready. They marinate pork ribs and shoulder chunks with paprika, onion pulp, coriander, and parsley and sell by the pound. Chicken lule, made with thigh meat and sold by the skewer, is firm, but juicy, served with a tomato-based sauce and a vibrant salad made with chopped red and white onions, pomegranate arils, and dill. The star of the show is whole fish, flaky branzino that sports crisp, savory skin and benefits further from a lemon squeeze. Berezka also grills filet mignon and beef lule.

Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon on a black plastic tray.
Grilled branzino with herbs and lemon from Berezka Market in Reseda.
Joshua Lurie

Tonir Cafe

Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Joshua Lurie

Gayane Movsesyan and brother David have run this Armenian restaurant near the Hollywood Burbank Airport since 2011. A tonir is a traditional wood-burning clay oven that’s frequently built into the ground. Tonir Cafe’s charcoal grill is more contemporary but still helps to maximize grandma Siranoush’s recipes. Standout skewers include pork loin, shish (sirloin), beef lule, fatty lamb ribs, and tapaka (spatchcocked Cornish game hen). Simple seasoning includes garlic powder and red pepper. Plates come with a choice of rice, French fries, or salad, plus two appetizers. That could mean hummus (classic or jalapeño) and pickled beets. Several kebabs are also available in pita sandwiches or a la carte.

Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Pork and beef kebabs from Tonir Cafe.
Joshua Lurie

Armenian Lunch Truck

Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs in a tray with yogurt sauce and cucumber salad.
Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

The Kirakosyan family has parked their vivid truck in front of NoHo’s Royal Fresh Super Market since 2019. Red, blue, and orange stripes match the Armenian flag. The meaty menu delivers a devastating one-two punch. Armenian Lunch Truck serves excellent shawarma, and the action extends to the sidewalk, where cooks tend to an adjacent charcoal grill. Beef lule (ground meat), marinated pork ribs, and iki bir (cubed belly meat) are all notably luscious and smoky. Plates come with rice, Armenian salad, tzatziki (yogurt folded with minced cucumber), spicy tomato sauce, and grilled tomato and jalapeño. Lavash wraps are also available.

Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs in a tray with yogurt sauce and cucumber salad.
Armenian lunch truck pork ribs and pork belly kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

Proshyan Best Shawarma

Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

Proshyan is a street in Yerevan with a historic reputation for barbecued meat. This nighttime stand in North Hollywood occupies a doublewide red pop-up tent on the sidewalk in front of El Super market and hangs a small Armenian flag by their spit. Proshyan serves some of LA’s best pork shawarma and grills kebabs over glowing mesquite charcoal embers. They mold beef and chicken lule (made with ground thigh) around stainless steel and also cook marinated pork shoulder chunks that are notably juicy for such lean meat. Other options include iki bir (marinated pork belly), iki bir skewered with skin-on potatoes, and chicken breast. Skewers come in lavash wraps or on plates with parsley, chopped white onions, sliced tomato, and enough lavash to form a pillow. Cash only.

Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Grilling kebabs at Proshyan Kebabs.
Joshua Lurie

Malek's Grill & Kabob

Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Joshua Lurie

Malek Simani is from Tehran, Iran, and opened this strip mall restaurant near Pierce College 25 years ago. Son David now runs the front of house. They cook stainless steel skewers on an open-flame gas grill. They typically offer an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, but not during the pandemic. Royal Combo combines “everything”: beef tenderloin, chicken thigh, chicken koobideh (thigh), and beef koobideh (an 80/20 blend). David said they marinate the kebabs the “old school way” with yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, and “spices,” to savory, vivid effect. Plates come with hummus, salad, pita, grilled tomato and jalapeno, and saffron-stained basmati rice. Pay an extra $2 to upgrade to tart barberry rice.

Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Combination kebab from Malek’s Grill.
Joshua Lurie

Tigranakert Meat & Deli

Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert on a white plastic tray.
Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert.
Joshua Lurie

Anna Ivanyan debuted this Armenian market in 2017, naming her business for an ancient city that Armenian king Tigranes the Great established which is now part of Turkey. Everything from the market’s large butcher case is available to grill by the pound over charcoal across the parking lot in Tigranakert’s production kitchen. Start with luscious beef lule, marinated iki bir (pork belly), and beautifully charred marinated sweetbreads, which are a fairly uncommon find. Plates come with rice and plenty of salads and dips to fill the two other compartments in a Styrofoam container. Options include ikra, spicy, smoky eggplant dip; and sweet, creamy shredded beet salad sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert on a white plastic tray.
Combination kebabs with smoky eggplant dip and shredded beet from Tigranakert.
Joshua Lurie

Sam’s Kebab

Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Sam’s Kebab

Sam Dumanyan is from a small town called Jrvezh located east of Yerevan in Armenia. He had a restaurant there and after he moved to Los Angeles, opened his eponymous restaurant in Van Nuys in 2021. Sam’s Kebab touts waterfall and blue-sky photo murals and specializes in skewers that he plucks from an enticing display case by the register and grills over charcoal either out back or in front. Simply seasoned, expertly grilled kebabs include pork ribs, lamb chops, and beef lule topped with chopped cilantro and red onion and served with fluffy rice pilaf, grilled tomato and jalapeño, lavash, and a colorful Armenian summer salad with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers tossed with a light vinaigrette.

Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Mixed kebab plate from Sam’s Kebab.
Sam’s Kebab

Aria BBQ

Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Joshua Lurie

Sergeh Azorian and his parents grew up in Iran. His grandparents hail from Armenia. He first showcased the family’s culinary traditions at Aria Meat Market in Burbank, which dates to 2013. This butcher shop used to grill kebabs, and not just sell raw proteins. In 2021, they shifted grilling operations to nearby Aria BBQ. This grab-and-go strip mall restaurant with a steer horn logo offers no seating, but they do grill a la carte kebabs over gas, all available for sale by the skewer. Beef lule, chicken lule, and boneless chicken thighs are satisfying, but flame-red hot wings, drummettes infused with spicy paste, are even more addictive. Scored pork baby back ribs with crispy topside fat also stand out. Scour their refrigerated case for complementary salads and dips. Aria Butcher Shop also operates down Glenoaks Boulevard in Glendale, but they don’t grill at that location.

Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Tray of kebabs from Aria Meat BBQ.
Joshua Lurie

Dvin Meat Market

Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Joshua Lurie

Hermine Abrahamyan’s side street Glendale butcher shop has a name that references Armenia’s ancient capital. This business doesn’t have a menu. Just ask or point and chef Artur Malkhasyan will cook any of the two-dozen meats in the case. They have one of LA’s largest lule selections, offering five varieties, including herb-flecked pork and memorably luscious lamb. Firm, ultra-savory pork jowl flaps and pork ribs are also worth a detour. Lesser-seen proteins like lamb liver, beef shoulder blade, and veal short ribs also get some love. As Lolo, who runs the front of house, made clear: “Just meat.” Don’t expect rice or sides.

Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Tray of kebabs from Dvin Meat Market.
Joshua Lurie

Mini Kabob

Kebabs plate at Mini Kabob
Kebabs plate from Mini Kabob in Glendale.
Farley Elliott

Hovik Martirosyan and wife Alvard turned their tiny side street restaurant into a beloved Armenian kebab destination with help from social media savvy son Armen. Mini Kabob has built a national reputation in publications like The New York Times, which included them in “America’s Favorite Restaurants” in 2021. The family displays savvy with open-flame cooking on a workhorse gas grill behind their small counter. Highlights include juicy beef and chicken lule skewers and chicken thigh served atop fluffy rice with creamy red pepper dusted hummus, blistered tomato and jalapeño, onion, and parsley. Complimentary sides include silky eggplant caviar crafted with smoky roasted eggplant and bell peppers.

Kebabs plate at Mini Kabob
Kebabs plate from Mini Kabob in Glendale.
Farley Elliott

Art's Bakery & Cafe

Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery on a white tray.
Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery.
Joshua Lurie

 Before the pandemic, Art’s Bakery was best known for ponchiks, fluffy Armenian donuts with fillings like fruit and custard. Simon and Angelia Grigoryan recently expanded this Glendale institution, which dates to 1998, adding an exhibition kitchen with a smoldering charcoal grill and fridge featuring five tiers of grill-ready skewers. Highlights include beef lule kebabs flecked with melted mozzarella and jalapeño, baby pork rib tips, and boneless country-style baby pork ribs. Plates come with fire-roasted tomato and mild Anaheim chile, lavash, raw onions and parsley, fluffy basmati rice or sliced oven-baked potatoes and a choice of two sides. Spinach yogurt salad and Armenian salad both lend welcome brightness.

Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery on a white tray.
Beef lule kebab with hummus and grilled vegetables at Art’s Bakery.
Joshua Lurie

Vernatoun Restaurant

Lule kebab with fries and lavash at Vernatoun in Glendale.
Lule kebab with fries and lavash at Vernatoun.
Joshua Lurie

Vernatoun is a restaurant and banquet hall that’s excelled at cooking Armenian comfort food in the back corner of a Glendale strip mall since 2021. Lump mesquite charcoal bags are piled up behind a kitchen window, giving customers a small taste of their process. Luscious lule (ground meat) skewers center on either beef chuck roll or chicken thigh, which get seasoned with onions and spices and beautifully express charcoal smoke. Pork baby back pork ribs sport nice sears that don’t actually lock in juices, as the myth states, but clearly still help boost eating enjoyment. Kebab plates come with rice, grilled tomato and pepper, and a potent red pepper sauce folded with onions, paprika and parsley.