The Unvegan

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Keeping Kashrut at Haifa

100% Kosher

As a Jew who clearly doesn’t keep Kosher (see any entry on bacon, cheeseburgers or shellfish), I sometimes find it fun to eat a meal the way my Kosher brethren do. In LA this means a trip to Pico and Robertson, which my girlfriend affectionately calls “Little Israel,” although actual Israel can hardly be called “big.” Kosher restaurants either serve meat or dairy, so to take care of my unvegan needs, this Kosher pilgrimage took me to the meat-based Haifa Restaurant.

Haifa serves traditional Middle-Eastern foods like schwarma and kebabs, which is nice since you wouldn’t really want to put cheese or other dairy foods with them. I perused the pita sandwiches and decided the Fried Schnitzel sounded just delightful. When I ordered, I asked what came inside the sandwich and the waitress told me it was the schnitzel, hummus and salad. Actually, that was what came in all their sandwiches, so instead of choosing something different, I just ordered it without and hoped there would be enough schnitzel and hummus to fill the thing.

Before my sandwich came, the waitress brought out a bunch of different miniature side dishes. This was all good and well for the veggie munching crowd, but there wasn’t anything to offer for unvegans. Oh well, it was a little bonus that I hadn’t been expecting anyway and it kept the rest of the table happy. Suckers.

My pita sandwich came and looked perfect. Not a vegetable in sight. I chomped in and found it pretty enjoyable. The combination of breaded chicken with pita was a nice double dose of carbs that I always appreciate and the hummus helped keep it moist. If anything, this could have used a bit more hummus, but it was pretty good as is. The meat was actually pretty awesome and was definitely the quality I expect from Kosher meat. Of course, this came at the somewhat premium cost of $8.95. Yet, the premium wasn’t huge when you consider the cost of some sandwiches in LA that don’t even adhere to strict ethical and religious codes.