CASUAL MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE COMES TO DTLA
With so much going on in Downtown LA, new and exciting dining options are always appreciated. The tried and true will always be favorites but discovering new gems is always a treat. So to my surprise, I was stoked with I discovered EJ’s Bites, a Mediterranean fast food inspired restaurant that delights with traditional flavors from secret family recipes.
“We use the highest quality raw ingredients combined with traditional spices that give you a take on healthy, fast convenient food,” says Founder & Executive Chef
Orit Mesica. “Our diverse menu offers fresh baked Pita Pockets, Bowls and delightful sides full of delicious flavor and addictive tastes. Popular favorites are the EJ’s Original or the Veg-E stuffed and filled to perfection with mixed ingredients dripped in our famous secret sauce that will tickle your taste buds.”
Located across the street from L.A. LIVE, this is a great spot for a good, yet casual meal before a concert, movie or event at nearby Staples Center. Most hearty menu items can be served as a bowl or sandwich, depending on how hungry you are or if you’re counting calories.
We started with the EJ’s Original (Kabob). Our pita pocket came with seasoned ground beef with a hint of lamb, chopped cucumber/tomato, chopped pickets along with EJ’s secret sauce. I just loved the beef as it was so flavorful and found this favorite menu item hearty and delicious.
If you’re looking for a non-meat option, The Veg-e (Sabich) is a fantastic meat alternative. Prepared with sliced hardboiled eggs, sautéed eggplant, chopped pickles, chopped cucumber/tomato and hummus spread along with EJ’s secret sauce, I was shocked I loved this item as I am not a fan of eggplant and yet that didn’t seem to matter.
While the Falaf-e (falafel) came highly recommended, it found this blend of grounded chick peas mixed with various spices, herbs chopped pickles, chopped cucumber/tomato and EJ’s secret sauce very good, but I have had better.
A definite starter item should always be the Hummus Dip with Pita as the freshly baked pita with homemade hummus is light and solid. The hand-cut and coin shaped Freak-e Fries are also a good side dish.
For our Bowls, I was a big fan of the Tun-e Bowl, a spicy yet flavorful blend of spicy tuna salad, sliced hardboiled eggs, shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber/tomato, chopped pickles and EJ’s secret sauce served with a side of pita. Because the tuna was so full of flavor, I think this dish would actually work better as a sandwich. I think this is a dish that most people might skip over when ordering at a Mediterranean restaurant but it’s a surefire hit.
The Wow-e Bowl was a hit at our table even if I was slightly disappointed. Prepared with marinated/roasted sliced chicken, rice, shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber/tomato, marinated garbanzo beans, chopped pickles and EJ’s secret sauce with a side of pita, I would have liked this one to be a little spicier.
I like the convenience of dining at EJ’s Bites amidst the hustle and bustle of busy Downtown LA. It’s a great place to have a good, healthy and affordable meal, whether you’re on the go or can relax and take your time. Owner Orit Mesica likes to say her food is prepared with love, and all I can say is that it’s tasty and hardly fast-food like at all. I definitely felt and welcomed the love. Finding good eats in DTLA just got easier.
EJ’s Bites is located at 949 South Figueroa Street. Call (213) 683-9768.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy: EJ’s Bites