Brother Charlie and I ventured over to Pico and Normandie to fill our tummies with something more ethnic, to get a cultural experience was our goal. Our stop was a place we've never been to before, this place was called Papa Cristos. Some time ago Brother Charlie had heard of Papa Cristos, a Greek restaurant with delicious authentic Greek food, interest was in the air and in our tummies- we decided to first go scope the place out as I was hesitant to make a commitment without actually seeing the restaurant.
We parked and walked half a block to Papa Cristos to find there was actually restaurant parking at the rear of the property. The restaurant took up almost one whole small block of Pico, equivalent to 2-3 stores. I peered into the very first window on the left where written above on the old white building was "Papa Cristos" in big blue Greek-style letters, there was a rather smallish counter and kitchen where food was being ordered and made. I looked into the 2nd window to the right of the first window and to my surprise found that Papa Cristos was directly connected to a medium sized store with a deli counter where cheeses, breads and meats could be bought, I all but ran in my eyes bulging out of their sockets from excitement- I just love places like these!
Not only was there a long deli section but there was a small store parallel to the deli where a variety of olives, olive oil, beer, wine and such were for sale.
To the left of the store/deli section was a huge room of tables, for eating of course, I foresaw a good experience here and Brother Charlie and I hurried into Papa Cristos to order some hopefully authentic Greek ethnicity food to fulfill our cultural-experience need for the day.
Once could tell almost immediately that this was the real stuff Greeks were made of. Faced with a menu just right in size, not too large and not too little, Brother Charlie and I talked amongst ourselves trying to figure out what to order. We both decided that the traditional Gyro and a Greek coffee would be the way to go upon first contact.
The service was friendly and straight forward, we ordered, we sat, they served. The waitress stuck a her name card at the table just in case we needed anything else, I thought this was just cute and pretty smart actually, after all, how often do you actually remember the name of the person serving you even if they do introduce themselves? Most times I just end up calling them "miss" or just a plain "excuse me" shout-out, the name however made it more personable no doubt, not that we used it.
When the gyros were served all wrapped up with a side of Tzatziki sauce it didn't look like much, the weight was... well, it was awfully heavy for a gyro and big too, it smelled delicious.
It was absolutely scrumptious! The pita was browned on the edges just right so that there was a very slight crispiness to it and not all doughy, there was fresh lettuce and roma tomatoes, no red onions, and the lamb meat was aplenty, slightly crisp in some areas on the outside yet tend and moist on the inside. It was really the best gyro I've had so far in Los Angeles. It was Brother Charlie's first contact with a Gyro and he loved it. By the end of our meal I'm sure we both wondering the same thing, 'what the other dishes were like'.
The Greek coffee came out in a pot with two little cups, espresso-sized cups. Coffee poured, I looked at it and realized that the coffee was think, almost grainy at top which made me think sludgy, had I not had the fantastic gyro I may have been afraid to try the coffee looking the way it did. Two sips of coffee told me that this was probably the best espresso I've ever had in my life, it was SWEET! The coffee was actually sweet with almost a chocolaty flavor, except this was just plain Greek coffee espresso. Yes, this was the stuff Greek's were made of.
Needless to say, we finished everything off. Suggestion of the month, try Papa Cristos, and if you do remember to order the Greek Coffee.
2 Greek coffee
The Damage: $19.53
2771 West Pico Blvd
LA CA 90006