We needed some takeout for a picnic on the beach. Sure, we could have just grabbed some sandwiches, or perhaps a burrito from Chipotle. We have even been known to bring takeout sushi. But I wanted something light, something tasty, something special.
We were driving along PCH waiting for inspiration to hit us, and bam! I saw a place I have been meaning to stop by for a couple years now…Poulet Du Jour. Signs on the window advertised Rotisserie chicken, hummous, baba ghannouj, falafel, more. My instincts said it would be good. So Scot indulged me – it took 10 minutes for him to figure out how to circle back and park, but he did it.
At first, when we walked inside, we were worried we made a mistake when we only saw an Asian man behind the counter. (I don’t think we are being unfair or stereotyping when I say he just did not look like he was from the Middle East.)
We studied the menu, and studied the restaurant. They have an open kitchen, and our fears were quickly allayed when we saw (what we later learned) was a family-run Lebanese restaurant.
We jumped on a sampler platter, the “Super Veggie Plate ($15.99) that included generous portions of hummos, falafel, tabouleh, potato salad, baba ghannouj, tahini and pita. It also included mediterranean cole slaw but we opted to substitute more of the other salads in its place. We asked the owner what else we should try, and we added on a small piece of rotisserie chicken, cucumber salad, and two pieces of kibbe.
While we waited, we noticed they had some excellent german beers in their cooler, as well as some other intesting middle eastern beers we had never had before. We decided to partake while we awaited our food to be prepared (all cooked to order, this was not fast.) He asked if we wanted to try something new and gave us two tasty lebanese beers, frosty mugs and all. Really refreshing. Sadly, hermosa beach does not allow him to sell them takeout or we would have taken more to go.
He also bought out two pieces of falafel to sample while we waited. If there was any doubt still remaining on what kind of quality we could expect from the meal, this alleviated all concerns. This was FALAFEL. No, not the powdered stuff in the box deep fried in old oil that most so-called Middle-Eastern restaurants pass off as falafel. This was fresh ground chick peas (that morning, I heard later) with a light touch of seasoning and lightly fried. It was flavorful and not at all greasy. Delightful.
The rest of the meal followed suit. The cucumber salad was refreshing and reminiscent of a high-quality raita. The hummous and baba ghannouj were also quite refreshing, light, and flavorful.
The rotisserie chicken was easily the best I have had in a long time. Flavorful without being greasy, and we had the dark meat. It was accompanied by an amazing garlic sauce, which I also loved on the kibbe.
Scot really liked the homemade baklava, I found the filo dough a bit too thick.
All in all, a great meal that was not only a great value but also healthy and tasty.
I highly recommend it. Plus, they are open until 10pm (mon-sat.)
Poulet Du Jour
233 Pacific Coast Hwy