If you were not going to the movie theater from the parking lot at Coldwater Canyon and Victory, you would never see or even know of the existence of Top Falafel; I was directed to this place from someone who worked in the area when I asked for a place to get a good light meal. It is key to ask a local for their favorite places because this was the first place he told me about before rattling off a few other chain names. I always prefer to support small individual owners, so I tried Top Falafel, even though I had a hard time finding it because it is literally hidden in what looks like an alley adjacent to the movie theaters.
The decor definitely needs to be updated, but this is mainly a take away place with a few tables and chairs for those who so hungry they can't wait to eat. It's a 3 person operation with 2 cooks and one person taking the orders and dispensing change (sometimes from the tip jar). The cold drinks are all self serve in the refrigerated case with choices of juices, teas, sodas and water, while the desserts are all variations of ice cream in the self serve freezer case. The only menu is above the grill and the prices reflect the self serve atmosphere, with gyros and falafel sandwiches going for under $6 and full plates for under $8. Portions are generous, and the fillings are fresh and tasty.
Two of us had gyro sandwiches with freshly grilled meat and onions sauteed in front of us on the grill, and the accompaniments were laid out behind the counter so you can customize your sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, hummus or condiments. I ordered a falafel plate and watched as they made my falafels to order, filling my plate 6 big disks of falafels, alongside 2 types of hummus (one was very garlicky and the other one was mild), and three pieces of pita breads, all served with a small bit of lettuce, pickled beets, and a very hot pickled pepper. There was easily enough food for two, but the falafels were so tasty that I tried (unsuccessfully) to finish it all.
The best finds are usually known only by locals and hidden, so hunting for them is half the fun; here's to everyone finding a treasure in their hunt for good food.