When you ask owners Jaina and John Orphali what kind of restaurant Kebab Daddy is, they hesitate. It’s got elements of Armenian, Lebanese, Mexican and classic American. Their focus on high-protein/low-fat meals makes it totally Californian as well. And despite its corporate franchise appearance, there’s a down-home aspect to Kebab Daddy with its homemade soups, spreads and baklava. It seems the overarching principle at Kebab Daddy is quality.
The Orphalis proudly state that all their beef is top-quality certified Angus beef, free of preservatives and powdered tenderizers. Their luleh is ground fresh every day. They boil their own garbanzos for daily made hummus. They crisp up their sweet potato and regular fries in a fryer with a state-of-the-art filtration system. They dispense over 100 different sodas with a souped up Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. Even their to-go containers are better than most.
Kebab Daddy’s location is a little quirky, tucked away around a corner. The atmosphere, with its blue and yellow motif, is comfortable. Not quite as warm and inviting as the Coffee Bean next door but just as relaxed. Speaking of the Coffee Bean, if you order a breakfast wrap at Kebab Daddy, they give you a voucher for a free cup of coffee from next door. I like that neighborly touch. Take your coffee and wrap out onto the sunny veranda and it makes for a pleasant morning meal.
The breakfast wraps are more like burritos than Middle Eastern wraps. In the Original Famous Wrap, a whole-wheat tortilla holds at least two freshly scrambled eggs, beef soujuk (a recipe made by the family for 50 years), cheddar cheese and a few fried potatoes. Alongside comes a spicy ketchup for dipping. At $7 it’s pricey but this is no $3 breakfast burrito pumped up with cheap potatoes and beans. It’s a high-protein day-starter with enough left over for a midmorning pick-me-up.
I brought my son back for the after-school “Happy Hour.” No, they don’t serve booze here. They do serve up $5 luleh wraps from 2 to 5 p.m. though. I would think this would be a hit with the teens in the area. Daddy’s Famous Lule Wrap is a winner. Made with 20% pork filet and 80% beef, the meats are ground together with spices then skewered and grilled over an open flame, rendering tender cutlets that are wrapped in a fresh, sugar-free lavash with a slather of house mix. The house mix is a kind of Mexi-Med salsa made from grilled tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, eggplant and cilantro. Ask for it on whatever you like.
Naturally, Kebab Daddy has regular shish kebabs — beef, chicken and pork. These come in lavash wraps with house mix ($7), as bowls with brown or Basmati rice ($8), or as generous plates with salad and a side ($12). They also serve good-looking New Zealand grass-fed lamb chops and a fairly unique Kebab Burger. The burger is made from fresh-ground Angus beef slathered with garlic lebni mix and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions on a brioche bun. Fries and a drink round out the meal at $10. The Paleo Plate ($9) is a bodybuilder’s dream. They grill up two skewers of meat (your choice) and a fat skewer of fresh vegetables (mushroom, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and onions). Slow-burning carbs and proteins all the way.
Try Kebab Daddy after your workout, after school, or after you just can’t face another turkey sandwich.
What: Kebab Daddy
Where: 3701 Ocean View Blvd. #A3, Montrose
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: Breakfast wraps, $6 to $7; kebab and luleh wraps, bowls and plates, $7 to $12
More info: (818) 249-3233; kebabdaddy.com
LISA DUPUY welcomes comments and suggestions at LDupuy@aol.com.