"Would you like it this much if it weren't so cheap?" My friend Ashley asked me, as she wiped some tahini sauce from her lip.
I paused, considering for a moment. I took another bite of my $5.25, made-to-order chicken wowshi pita that I'd stuffed with tomato cilantro relish, onions, tahini sauce, and shredded cabbage from the condiments bar at Bella Pita in Westwood, and for a moment, felt sure that I would. The pita was reminiscent of the one I enjoyed at Zov's in Newport Coast, but considerably better and considerably cheaper. If I was willing to pay $10 + tip and tax at the cafe down south, clearly it would follow that I would be fine paying more for the superior lunch I was currently enjoying.
Or would I?
The ambiance at Bella Pita is not exactly chic. Certainly no place where I could go for a leisurely lunch with a good friend or boss with a corporate card. It's a no frills, literal hole-in-the-wall that is overshadowed by the other larger, more mainstream eateries on Gayley Avenue (ie. In-N-Out and some questionable looking sushi restaurant). There are only three bar stools available for those who want to eat their pitas there, and the open kitchen manned by three prompt and pleasant gentlemen is not conducive to holding private conversations about life ambitions or that cute guy on OkCupid.com who likes to run on the beach and cuddle.
My pita is craveably delicious -- the type of lunch I could be happy eating day after day after day after day, but it doesn't negate the fact that Bella Pita is essentially set-up like a stationary taco truck. It's probably the best pita I've had in recent memory, but I don't know that I would feel so enthusiastic about my lunch if I were asked to pay more than $5.25 (plus $.75 extra for feta cheese) at a place that requires me to get my food to go or fight some punk UCLA student for the last bar stool.
Regardless of the lack of seating, lack of privacy and lack of any visible decor, Bella Pita is still a great option for a quick, cheap and delicious bite on the Westside. I will be back when I have some extra time during my lunch break. And I may even splurge for a bottle of Mexican Coke too.
960 Gayley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
1945 1/2 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025