GENERAL COMMENT: All over the world hungry pedestrians stop for a bite on the street and order a pita bread stuffed with meat, lettuce, sauce and chopped tomato. It’s a unifying force in the Mediterranean. It’s called by many names, but it doesn’t vary much. Now you too can have it right on Broadway in Santa Monica.

WHERE: 109 Broadway, Santa Monica, 90401. (310) 319-6262.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to at least midnight, seven days a week. And some people complain about an immigration problem! Try and find a red-blooded American couple keeping those hours.

BEST DISHES: The Shawerma, made from beef and lamb cooked on the vertical spit, can be very good, but it can also be overcooked and a bit dry sometimes. But you never go wrong with any of the chicken dishes. There’s also a vertical spit with chicken.

BEST FEATURE: Authentic Mediterranean food, terrific prices.

WORST FEATURE: This is not gourmet heaven. As I said sometimes the meat is over cooked, and certainly the hummus needs a lot more garlic for my taste.

WHAT TO DRINK: Have a small soft drink for $1.49, or a large one for $1.99.

PRICES: It’s $5 for the wrap and $11 for a plate. I recommend the half chicken for $7.99, or one of the mixed plates from $8 to $11.

BOTTOM LINE: Congratulations to Magdy Faragalla, from Alexandria, Egypt, and his wife for this clean, attractive addition to our international food community.

Merv Hecht, the food and wine critic for the Santa Monica Daily Press, is a wine buyer and consultant to a number of national and international food and wine companies. He can be reached at

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