No matter what apocalyptic circumstances (fires, recessions, etc.) we’re dealing with, it is worth venturing out to find a takeout restaurant that can feed a family of four for $10. When that $10 gets you a succulent rotisserie chicken, rice, pita bread, garlic butter and sweet chile sauce… well, it’s a treasure. And Soumarelo is indeed a treasure.
Owned by three sisters (who merged their surnames to create the name), Soumarelo combines Lebanese and Armenian influences, serving kebabs, sandwiches and sides — but the main attraction is most definitely the rotisserie chicken. Reminiscent of the beloved birds at Zankou, this whole chicken is moist, tender and flavorful, perhaps even better than Zankou’s — especially when it’s topped with the house garlic butter or sweet chile sauce, an uncommon condiment that adds tang. My personal recommendation is to mix some Sriracha chile paste with the sweet chile sauce for chicken with a bit more bite. Employee Gary K. touts the lamb kebabs, noting that few places around here offer kebabs with whole chunks of roast lamb, but no one will blame you for sticking to the chicken.
You can eat there, but don’t expect much ambience; most regulars pick up a delicious dinner on the way home from work (call your order in if you don’t want to wait). But the setting is about to improve with a new dining room in the back, which will soon be home to a “Dinner and a Movie” night to entice you to stay on-site.
Whether you eat in or take out, Soumarelo makes good on its goal to serve fresh, robustly flavorful Mediterranean food at affordable prices.
Soumarelo Fresh Mediterranean Grill, 1090 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena, 626.791.0999, soumarelo.com. L & D daily. Mediterranean. No booze. MC, V. $