There are many types of this restaurant popping up all over the major cities. It’s the Chipotle model but with a different type of food: Mediterranean. But not just any type of shawarma, falafel, kabob restaurant, this one is probably the best you will ever taste. That is because everything is made from scratch and fresh every day. They don’t buy anything pre-made, they have no freezers or microwaves and they cater to many types of food restrictions. From vegan to gluten free, everything here is just the best of the best, and you can leave very satisfied.
Owner Ronit Machlouf and her business partner Zahi Ofengart, saw a need for Mediterranean food in this area and beyond. Ronit is from Israel, so she knows what it takes to make homemade pita bread and hummus. And let me tell you, this is the best humus I have ever tasted!. She says their process takes a very long time, because they do everything in the traditional right way with no shortcuts.
When I asked her about the choices on her menu, she said that Zahi is the foodie guy, and that he knows what people like and how to mix key ingredients to make their customers very happy. Ronit is the numbers gal; she has a degree in accounting and is a certified fraud examiner. She leaves the creative side to Zahi. Whoever does what really doesn’t matter as it’s more about the successful outcome of what they have created as a unit. From what I can see, the model of this type of restaurant is different from those that came out before. They use great fresh locally sourced foods that make up an ethnic wonderland of infinite possibilities. Also all of their paper products are recycled and compostable. There are already plans for opening three more locations in the near future, one opening will take place on July 8th, in DTLA, Downtown Los Angeles, and is at the busy hub of Spring and 8th.
With lunch lines already formed down the street, many of their customers are from Cedar Sinai Hospital. Their pitas are made fresh daily, and on a normal lunch day, they use more than 200. Ronit described me how long it takes to make both: the pita bread and the humus, and I can honestly say that it’s worth every minute. With the humus, you don’t have any bitter garbanzo bean after tasting it. It’s just creamy and fantastic, with very subtle hints of garlic and beans.
This is not Ronit Machlouf’s first restaurant. She also owns Mr. Sandwich on Olympic which features a similar menu, with a few more typical style deli meats. Coming from some of my Israeli friends, they say that this too is an amazing restaurant.
Soom Soom is a unique, fast-casual restaurant that offers delicious Gluten-Free Mediterranean street food. The food is made fresh each day, without preservatives or additives.
Here’s what I tried:
Shawarma Beef and Chicken. The seasonings on both were simply delightful, with real Mediterranean spices and not too salty. All entrées may be topped with any of the following: Hummus, Mediterranean Salad, White Cabbage, Marinated Onions, Skhug (Yemenite Salsa), Cucumber Salad, Tehini, Roasted Cauliflower.
Falafel Pita Plate; they make their falafel to order, so you know its super fresh and tasty and well as gluten-free.
Chicken Schnitzel, with Pita, Couscous; a wonderful crispy treat that will for sure make you want to come back for more.
Beef Kebob; these little meaty wonders just pop in your mouth, they are delicious. Their meat products are Halal, hormone free, and their ground beef is Kosher.
Mediterranean Meatballs Plate; this is made from Zahi’s Mother-in-laws recipe. They have a very earthy tone and they sit in a wonderful sauce.
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice; made fresh every morning, delicious.
Fresh Squeezed Carrot Juice; made fresh every morning, jam-packed with sweet carrot flavors.
Salted Caramel Soom Shake with Tahini; non- dairy, so wonderful, you would never know that there is no dairy in it.
Ronit’s husband, is a general contractor but she acts as the contractor for her restaurant endeavors. Soom Soom has a modern-day farm type of vibe, with its herb plants and olive trees, Designer Eiphrat Dimor created quite a nice family friendly space.
Aaron Brill, their general manager, is very knowledgeable, especially about this new model of counter ordering. Having worked previously at Chipotle, he uses his prior experience and knows exactly how to make Soom Soom a huge success.
Think Lawrence of Arabia meets Casablanca. Soom Soom loves all Mediterranean things and keeps it classic with the originals: Falafel, Shawarma, and Hummus. Their food is made with fresh ingredients, nothing is pre-made, no preservatives or additives. In their case, you can tell the food is super fresh just by looking at it and your appetite will be reinforced.
Soom Soom opened in November 2016 in Los Angeles; the owners Ronit and Zahi blended their love of healthy, organic food with their Mediterranean roots and flare.
If you want delicious, fresh Mediterranean food that won’t empty your piggy bank, try Soom Soom. I was very glad I did. Soom Soom means sesame seeds X 2.
8744 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
• Note some content was taken from their website.