The kebabs have all been kiboshed at Santa Monica's Syrian restaurant Sham. The restaurant is currently closed and its number disconnected, with only its mail, operating hours, and health rating lying on a table as the last testaments to its A rated operation. Sham had a sensual atmosphere and freshly-baked pita, but was often found lifeless once the neighboring worker bees headed home in the evening. Dinner prices here could be a little high, considering the superior options that lay east. Although plenty of similar fare is be found in Westwood and West L.A., restaurants touting the cuisine of Damascus are noticeably rarer in these neighborhoods. So where to go when craving a little Mideast meat in Santa Monica? While the atmosphere doesn't quite mirror the bejeweled exotic at Sham, the falafel, shawarma, and kebab at Pico's tiny Hungry Pocket have always appealed to us more than the menu of this closed Syrian.
The Hungry Pocket, 1715 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica. 310-450-5335.