Venice Beach Pizza, Wings & Shawarma

You tell me how a Hamilton shawarma place that serves their shawarma on Iraqi samoon bread got named after a LA beach. I don’t get it. Venice Beach Pizza, Wings & Shawarma is located on the west mountain in Harvard Square Mall, which is a plaza. Right beside Farm Boy, which is an expensive grocery store, and not to be confused with Farmboy, which is basically a grocery liquidation store in Peterborough, it’s the best.

It appears to be quite popular, the line was out the door. Perhaps they were there for pizza though? I don’t really understand the world of pizza, only shawarma. It is decorated in signs telling you they don’t take shawarma or fries orders over the phone because people were wasting their time too much. The signs weren’t too helpful because I was already at the shop and not likely to phone in my order at that point. I placed my in person order at the register and waited to be called up.

And wait I did. There was 3 gentlewomen running the shop, and they were in no hurry. As a hungry person waiting for lunch, I wasn’t a fan of their methodology. But I suppose there’s some value in taking some time to smell the roses in this rat race culture we live in. Twenty minutes after arriving at Venice Beach, I was finally asked what I wanted on my shawarma.

It was difficult to communicate with the lunch lady because of the large sheet of corrugated vinyl roofing the had been erected between our faces. I managed to get my lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber. From behind a sign explaining how they don’t serve chicken straight off the spit to avoid foodborne illness, she retrieved some chicken from the food warmer bin. My sandwich was wrapped in foil bon-bon style, with the two twisted ends, and I was on my way.

So the shawarma is served on something called samoon bread, but I think it might be pizza crust. It’s got some crunch and toughness to it, I’m not sure it’s the right choice for this sandwich. You don’t really want that chew with shawarma. The chicken was pretty tasty though, seasoning is on point. The garlic sauce is nice and garlicy. The hot sauce tastes like it might be Tobasco, way too vinegary for shawarma. It was very noticeable. The veggies were a miss too, they didn’t get any heating and were still crisp and cool. And the way the sandwich was assembled the veggies were separate from the chicken, so once you eat through the chicken part you’re eating raw veggies on tough bread.

So do I recommend going to Venice Beach? Absoulety! There’s all sorts of attractions, a really cool skatepark, and of course the beautiful Pacific. Do I recommend going to Venice Beach Pizza, Wings & Shawarma? Not as much. The chicken was nice, so I’d typically be inclined to come back for a shawarma dinner. This time though, I think the hot sauce is enough to scare me off. Nothing awful, but not really good either. 4/10

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