Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bella Pita: Really good food made better by the prices

"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.

Bella Pita
960 Gayley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 209-1050

1945 1/2 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 475-4070

13 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

I would be happy. I would be delighted and thrilled, in fact. I'm much more at home in holes in the walls, because, well, I don't get out much. As my daddy always said, act like you've been to town before!

The Duo Dishes said...

You know what, we're used to cheap and good eats from our old college town in NC. Honestly, there is some great food. You just have to find it. It feels good knowing you can get something tasty and healthy for low cost.

Melissa Good Taste said...

Mmmmm... that looks refreshing! More so than my shredded beef enchilada I had yesterday for lunch. Damn my addiction to Mexican food. It is going to be the death of me!

Mindy said...

I think I would just plop myself down on that curb outside and eat! That looks delicious...and a Mexican Coke? You can't go wrong with that!

Sara said...

I love cheap mediterranean food! I could live on gyros and falafel. Or anything else that comes in a pita :)

Jenn said...

Cheap and delicious are always good. And cheap good Mediterranean is a plus in my book. I'm adding this to my place to eat when I'm in the area.

Esi said...

Yeah, this would be good any time of the day (or night) :)

Heather said...

mmm. this looks like the PERFECT lunch! i'm drooling!!

Reeni♥ said...

It looks fresh, delicious and generously portioned! The price is a nice bonus, the seating - not!

Laughing at the Blonde Duck, she's such a little pip!

Erica said...

HEY! How are you? Hows your week treating you? Tomorrow is Thursday! To be honest, I prefer more low key places with good food then more upscale locals! This pita looks totally delicious. Great topping choices!

Diana said...

Miranda - Haha, you crack me up! :) I actually felt perfectly at home there too!

Chrystal & Amir - I felt like I was in on a big secret by dining there. It really is a great find!

Melissa - Mmm a shredded beef enchilada sounds so good! It's been forever since I've had one.

Mindy - Hah, I think I may do just that next time!

Sara - Isn't pita great? I really need to do more with them!

Jenn - Definitely check it out -- and let me know what you think if you go!

Esi - Oh yes, it would be perfect around 1 am on a Friday night/Sat morning.

Heather - It was the perfect lunch -- kept me full all afternoon but not weighed down at all.

Reeni - Haha, she cracks me up too! :)

Diana said...

Hi Erica! My week is going well - a little nutty with all the moving chaos, but it will all be over soon. Hope everything is going well with you -- Lost tonight!!!

Ashley said...

It was delicious. I think I would rank it second only to my beloved Amsterdam Falafel Shop in DC (http://www.falafelshop.com/) - $4.50 for a small wheat falafel is the best drunk (or sober) food anyone could ask for!