Turn but Don't Burn

Best Shawarma lives up to its name in Glendale

Spits sporting beef and chicken shawarma are common sights in Los Angeles.

But Glendale's new Best Shawarma takes extra turns.

The modern restaurant, which has Russian-Armenian roots, features overhead LED menus and has spits touting both of those familiar meats, plus one rarely seen: lamb.

Each of the shawarmas comes with a different marinade. A dark, umami-rich blend complements savory, fat-rimmed beef; leaner chicken gets a lighter, peppery soak; and a slightly sweeter marinade counterbalances the funk of that lamb, which arrives in caramelized, intensely flavored bits.

Sandwiches ($8) are available wrapped in plain pita, a more pliant lavash or a burnished roll. The kitchen piles on tomato, onion and cilantro, and judiciously applies a flavored mayonnaise, aka "house special sauce." Plates ($12 to $15) come with white rice, vinaigrette-dressed salad, red-pepper-spiked hummus and a pool of nutty tahini sauce, perfect for meat-dipping. You can add a fresh-fried, herb-flecked falafel ball for 99 cents more.

Best Shawarma serves other dishes too, such as White Filet Mignon Soup ($3.50) seasoned with tangy yogurt, and a relatively mild bowl of harissa porridge with shredded chicken ($7). Charbroiled kebabs, beef lule and veal ribs are also available, but it's more fun to sit and spin.

Best Shawarma, 602 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale; 818-550-7577 or bestshawarmas.com