We are food snobs. There, we’ve said it. We pass harsh judgment on chain restaurants and turn our noses up at fast food, save for a few limited exceptions. There is however, a special place in our hearts for hole-in-the-wall dining.
We all know of these places, these small, sometimes indiscriminately located eateries that we just happen to come across one day while picking up the dry cleaning or buying stamps at the post office. Or maybe your sister just happens to get take-out there one day. The point is, you never really plan to eat at these restaurants but when you do, you are better for it.
Such is the case with Pita Pockets. Located in the Vons shopping center on the corner of Reseda Boulevard and Nordhoff Street, this curious culinary venue offers patrons a variety of scrumptious and tantalizing meal items.
There is only one problem with Pita Pockets, addiction. After four consecutive days of putting the proverbial pita in our pockets, we realized the disturbing truth that we would forever crave and be dependent upon falafel, lemon chicken pita and shawrma laffa.
First step of recovery: admitting you are powerless over pita.
The first day we stumbled upon the strip mall where Pita Pockets is located, we figured it would be depressingly bland. First impressions were not good as the place was nearly empty. In retrospect, dining privately at Pita Pockets is a blessing. No one except your immediate dining companion will see your shameful abandonment of all proper dining etiquette as you dive face first into your meal.’
Located dangerously close to campus we frequently found ourselves silently making the five-minute drive from campus to the restaurant. Walking is entirely feasible but completely overrated and an act of futility for ravenous pita devotees.
During peak lunchtime hours, there are fellow CSUN students and corporate suits waiting in line for what we like to refer to as ‘the pita pocket experience.’ Regardless of what you order, two things will always be true.
One, it will be obnoxiously delicious. Obnoxious because your fellow dinners will soon tire of hearing you say, ‘This is so good! I mean like, it’s really that good!’ Second, and most troubling, the various components of your pita will invariably begin to spill over.
Accepting that you have a problem: the power of the pita pocket.
Eventually, you will find yourself sitting either inside or at the outdoor patio slowly eating your pita. You will begin to notice that the hummus and lemon sauce are beginning to blend and are slowly spilling out, dripping onto the table. This delectable spicy sauce will coat your fingers and hands quickly, leaving you scrambling for napkins.
Reluctant to slow your frantic consumption, you will find yourself single-mindedly transfixed. When the pita-haze clears and the realization comes that you are, in fact, in a public place you will quickly glance around casting nervous stares at your ravenous comrades.
Both disturbing and comforting is the awareness that everyone else around you is eating in the same way, with utter disregard for proper eating norms.
With this epiphany, your transformation into a ‘pitaphile’ is complete.
A searching inventory of deliciousness.
Pita Pockets offers a number of delightful menu items that can be substituted and customized. The falafel is crunchy and flavorful stuffed into a warm soft pita with your choice of hummus, tomatoes, lettuce and onions.’ Freshly made laffa dough is cooked and crisped on the open grill before being wrapped around tender pieces of lemon-marinated chicken, your choice of rice or french-fries, and numerous other accompaniments. The shawarma laffa is equally delectable with its small juicy slices of long-roasted meat.
The combination of flavors is authentically Middle Eastern. An optional special green sauce adds spiciness to counter the sweetness of the chickpea hummus. Savory sauces, condiments, and pickles add additional flavor to any order at Pita Pockets. Whatever you chose to eat, you are certain to have a tasty, affordable and satisfying meal at this family owned restaurant.
Pita Pockets: 9127 Reseda Boulevard, Northridge, CA 91324 Hours: M-F: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Sat – Sun: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Price Range: $6-$10