Out & About with Mike Pingel: The Halal Guys West Hollywood

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Photos and Text by Mike Pingel

Try something different at The Halal Guys West Hollywood.

Picture this: The evening at West Hollywood is coming to the close, the last drinks have been served, the final song has played on the dance floor and your tummy (or your six-pack) is telling you you’re hungry for something yummy. But where does one go to curve the late-night hunger?

Now we need to not look further than The Halal Guys, which recently opened in West Hollywood. The Halal Guys restaurant is the answer to curve your late-night food craving with their world-renowned gyros.

In New York City, The Halal Guys street carts are the equivalent to the popularity of our very own, Southern California’s In & Out Burger. According to Angelo Jayamantri, the general manager of the West Hollywood store, a woman named Jane, who lives in San Diego, has driven the two hours-plus to order her favorite thing off the menu–the Chicken plater. Now that is a return customer.

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“We have been open one-and-a-half months in West Hollywood,” Janyanantri said. “We do have lines at night. I just want to remind people to be patient. We try to get people out as soon as possible. We take a lot of pride in serving fresh food. We don’t keep batches of meat ready, we are always cooking and chopping, we always want to put fresh food in the customer’s plate. They deserve it.”

It all started with a street food cart, by the original “Halal Guys” Muhammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayedwhich. They served American Halal Food, which is a complex melting pot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. The business has now grown into a nationwide restaurant chain. Their goal is to open over 50 restaurants in California.

Robby LaRiviere of “Finding Prince Charming” – photo by Mike Pingel

The Halal Guys are becoming a very popular spot for a quick lunch with the locals. I ran into Logo’s “Finding Prince Charming”, Robby LaRiviere eating on the patio with friends. “I’m very excited about the opening of Halal Guys,” LaRiviere said. “It’s always nice to have new restaurants in the neighborhood. It’s fresh, it’s clean, you can sit outside which is wonderful and feel the breeze.”

The menu is short and simple with a choice of a sandwich or platter. Choices include Beef gyro, chicken, combo of gyro & chicken or falafel. They also offer a vegan plate with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, with a side of hummus, tabbouleh and baba ganoush.

“Both the Chicken and Beef Gyro are our biggest sellers,” Jayamantri said. “Our Falafel plate is great for our vegetarians. It’s high in protein, made out of chickpeas, garbanzo beans and is 100% vegan.”

Halal is famous for two really unique sauces which keep the lines long. First is their signature white sauce, which comes on both the sandwich and platter. Honestly, after the first bite, I could not stop. It was a wonderful blend of flavors, which I could not put my finger on. For those with a mouth for adventure, try their special red-hot sauce; its middle name is HOT! This has a wow factor within the spices, and when blended with the special white sauce, it makes for the perfect blend of hot and spicy. They also have amazing BBQ which also complements nicely with the white sauce.

“It’s our Signature White Sauce,” Jayamantri said. “The ingredients, not even we know. But it’s non-dairy creamy sauce. This sauce was really great, it’s not a mayonnaise, not a ranch, it’s a heavy sauce put complements everything we server here, and our signature hot sauce is explosive. It’s blended with 10 different peppers with a secret ingredient. It’s the spiciest thing I have eaten. The best part about these sauces that complete everything we have. If you put the right amount of the hot sauce, such as one line of sauce, it’s going to give you a nice kick.”

Jayamantri gave me this bit of advice on how to really enjoy a Halal Guys plater: the trick is to mix everything up – the sauce, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and rice. This allows the special sauces to be able to complement the gyro and chicken like a foodie’s marriage made in a silver carry out tin.

French Fries are also a must try. Once you have one…. then they are all gone. The fries are that good especially with a side of special white sauce to dip them in.

For dessert, a fluffy, gooey, nutty, homemade Baklava, is honestly a corner slice of heaven.

Janyanatri really hopes the resident of West Hollywood will give The Halal Guys a chance and wants the residents of Weho to feel that this is their home.

The Halal Guys are located at 8919 Santa Monica Blvd, in the heart of WeHo, between RAGE Nightclub & The Bank of America. The restaurant is open Monday – Friday 11am- 2am and Saturday & Sunday 11am-3pm.

To learn more visit thehalalguys.com