The area surrounding CSUN is home to a variety of hidden culinary gems that are often overshadowed by more well-recognized establishments. Among these lesser-known treasures is Reseda Boulevard’s Falafel Palace, a staple in the community known for its diverse selection of Greek and Mediterranean food.
On a typical school day, the restaurant is often packed with CSUN students chowing down on Greek favorites: from Greek gyros to falafel pitas to pizza pitas, there seems to be something for everyone.
CSUN students are in for a particular treat as the Falafel Palace offers a 10 percent discount to all students and employees who provide proper CSUN identification. Those without identification, however, need not fret, as menu prices stand fairly.
For roughly $7, customers can order a meal consisting of Greek gyros, a side of their choice — either fries, rice or salad — and a fountain drink. Greek gyros are made with the meat of the customer’s choice, ranging from lamb, beef, turkey, chicken or vegetarian, and rolled in soft, handmade pita bread.
Topped with sizzling grilled onions, fresh lettuce, juicy tomato slices and Greek tzatziki sauce, the Greek gyro is the perfect selection for an empty stomach.
With falafel in the name of the restaurant, it is an absolute must to try out the falafel balls. Available in small, medium or large quantities, falafel balls are a delectable, deep-fried dish consisting of blended spices, vegetables and garbanzo beans. Light yet flavorful, this crunchy treat packs a punch.
While the food at Falafel Palace serves the main attraction, it is evident that droves of people also frequent the place because of its welcoming casual dining experience.
For almost 40 years, the Falafel Palace has built and maintained a positive reputation that is reflected in its customer service. Upon entering the restaurant, guests are instantly greeted by the staff with a friendly smile and, sometimes, free samples of falafel balls or pieces of lamb. Those unfamiliar with the menu and Middle Eastern food in general are treated with patience and guidance as they try to decipher the meaning — and pronunciation — of terms that might seem alien, such as gyro and shawarma.
The interior of the restaurant reflects the warm and pleasant attitudes of the employees who cook, clean and cashier. Personal home-style touches of brass kitchen trinkets, framed photographs and small, worn travel posters scatter along the walls and add to the rustic, intimate atmosphere. Long, clear windows line three-quarters of the building, allowing a flood of natural light into the dining room.
A small sign hangs in the center of the room stating, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” In the case of Falafel Palace, this statement rings true, so grab a friend and enjoy wasting time at this local treasure.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars