THINGS I ATE: Papa Cristo’s

Image via Food GPS

Los Angeles is not a city brimming with Greek food. In fact, I can only think of about six or seven Greek restaurants total — Le Petit Greek in Larchmont Village, The Great Greek in the Valley, Tony’s Taverna in Malibu, Ulysses Voyage at The Farmer’s Market, Petros in Manhattan Beach, and Joseph’s Cafe in Hollywood, which I think is probably closed by now, and I wouldn’t eat there anyway. But I digress.

Supposedly at the top of that Aegean totem pole is Papa Cristo’s, located in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter of Los Angeles. And yes, LA does have a Byzantine-Latino Quarter. It’s basically Koreatown. Anyway, Papa Cristo’s has earned raves from newspapers, magazines, and of course, lowly blogs. I’ve wanted to visit the place for some time, but annoyingly, the restaurant closes at 8 PM, which is highly inconvenient for me.

Nevertheless, the other night I managed to finally make my way into the BLQ an snuck into Papa Cristos with just under 25 minutes left before the doors shut. Did the place live up to the hype? A few grainy pics after the jump…

Here I am with the colorful menu. You actually order at a counter. The people are very helpful and friendly. The only thing missing was Nia Vardalos.

Me futzing with aforementioned menu. The woman behind me is giving me a look like “Poor thing. Doesn’t know how to use a menu.”

Got it open!

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Some of the decor.

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My friend Jenny gets the gyro plate. DEEElish.

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All our food. I ordered basically a heap of shrimp, which arrived covered in garlic, butter, and who knows what else. NO COMPLAINTS.

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Taramosalata. While I greatly appreciated the smiley-face presentation, I have to admit that this was not my favorite taramosalata in the world. It was actually a huge disappointment. You see, I love taramosalata. Whenever I crave Greek food, I’m basically just craving taramosalata. This one simply did not do it for me. I mean, it was good. I definitely ate it all. But my itch was not scratched. SARRY.

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Here’s a charming photo of me about to eat a SCRIMP.

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Jenny was aghast that I would suck the juices out of the shrimp head. Then again, she was aghast at the shrimp head in general.

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Clearly, I had no qualms about this. The shrimp were great. The big container of sauce in the foreground, however, was the real star. It was so good that I took it home with me. Now I have it in my fridge. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Maybe sauté something in it? Or find some bread to dunk in it? I dunno. I better act fast though.

Tasty meal? Absolutely.
Overhyped? Maybe just a touch.
Worth racing down to the Byzantine-Latino Quarter by 8 PM? Probably not. But if you’re in the neighborhood, it’s a solid option. Plus, there’s a whole Greek market attached. Oh, and Papa Cristo is adorable — like a little Keebler elf that you just want to hug.

Papa Cristo’s
2771 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-2970 •

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