Ta-Eem Grill, the popular Israeli-Mediterranean restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood is expanding. It's become a late-night fixture in the area, but owner Yoel Kraizberger says he knows that the restaurant is known as much for its long lines as it is for its shawarma and falafel.
"Sometimes it's a really big line," said Kraizberger, who can often be seen smiling behind the counter, shaving seared meat into a metal tray. "With the demand, we just need more space."
Kraizberger is taking over the space next door that used to house a hair salon. There, he said, he will add more tables and a larger area for the long lines.
"Today is a great day," Kraizberger said. "Today I pick up the keys next door."
Currently, there are one or two tables shoved toward the back of the narrow restaurant and a few tables outside. Anyone who's waited in line there knows you'll be standing so close to your neighbor you can smell his cologne mixed in with the intoxicating smell of the dripping shawarma pit.
Kraizberger anticipates that he'll open the expansion in two months. Which raises the question: Will the wait for shawarma and falafel get shorter -- or longer?
7422 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 944-0013, www.ta-eemgrillinc.com