Jan 28, 2010

Local Review: Spitz - Little Tokyo - Classic Döner Sandwich

Very similar to the Greek gyro, the Döner or Döner Kebab is Turkish in origin (it means "rotating roast") but has spread across much of Europe as affordable street food.  Spitz is a restaurant specializing in European-style (specifically Spain) döners with two locations in Southern California. I went to the Little Tokyo Spitz to try their most basic sandwich: the Classic Döner Sandwich.

The type of bread offered with a döner seems to vary with origin, but Spitz offers a choice of panini-pressed Foccacia bread or a lavash wrap which is similar to a pita.  I picked the Foccacia bread for its pillowy texture and a little bit more bread flavor.

Döner meat which is the same preparation as gyro meat is a processed finely ground blend of lamb and beef shaped into a chub and rotated vertically on a spit (as opposed to horizontally over a fire) and cooked by a heat source from the side.  When it is time to serve, thin slices are shaved off the chub.  The resulting slices have a texture like bologna but are crisp on one side from the side grill.

At Spitz, I thought the meat was just okay. It could have been juicier and could stand to be seasoned or marinated more.  The Foccacia bread had a crispy crust from the panini press while still retaining its softness and airy texture within.  The sandwich is also filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cucumber, tzatziki sauce (Greek yogurt-based sauce), and chili sauce.  The veggies were all very fresh.  I just wish the meat were a bit more flavorful. I could have used a wee bit more chili sauce and should have asked for more.

I got the combo for $9.24 which included the sandwich, a choice of a side, and a refillable drink.  The sides available were a side salad (.92 extra), sweet potato french fries (also .92 extra), thin-cut seasoned fries, and lightly-fried pita chips.  I had the thin-cut fries before and they were fine.  Nothing memorable, but they do the job.

So this time, I tried the pita chips and I love them!  The sandwich was good but I could just sit there and eat the pita chips all day!  They're lightly fried in oil and then seasoned with parsley and a house-blended seasoned salt.  As a result, they are very crispy and delicious.  They should put some of that seasoning on the meat!  The pita chips are served with a small cup of hummus that complement them very nicely.

Specials.  The Little Tokyo branch differs from the original Eagle Rock location in that they have a bar and serve beer and sangria.  They also have Happy Hour specials which include my beloved pita chips for $1, draft beers for $3, and sangria for $4.  Both locations also have a rainy day special, where on rainy days you can get 10% off your check by saying "It's always sunny at Spitz."

Eagle Rock Spitz
2506 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 257-5600

Little Tokyo Spitz
371 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0101



  1. hmm...seems a little on the expensive side but then again it is from a restaurant. the meat looks a bit dry on the picture, is that the case?

  2. It is a tad on the expensive side... It's about a full meal for $10 including tax. The meat isn't dry... but it isn't moist either.

  3. I was so excited when this opened because I was hoping for the amazing(ly huge) doner kababs in Europe. Unfortunately these fail to replicate the experience, but as its own product it's not bad. I agree with you on the pita chips though. So crispy and addicting!

  4. @WW: I haven't been to Europe but I did have a doner in Japan! It's not huge though.


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