Restaurant Review #166: Mama Voula's, West LA - CLOSED

Greek salad and lamb gyro

Despite being a hole-in-the-wall-in-a-strip-mall, Mama Voula's, decorated in vibrant shades of peach, light yellow, and light blue, is surprisingly airy and cheery inside. The service is friendly, the food comes up fast (my takeout order was ready in just ten minutes), and they even have a parking lot where you can usually find a space. Yellow paint makes this particular strip mall slightly distinguishable from West LA's many other strip malls, which you'll need to know since Mama Voula's itself is barely visible from the street, especially when you're headed west.
The menu is simple and geared towards meat-eaters, though they do have a vegetarian gyro with zuchinni and eggplant, a vegetarian moussaka, and a few vegetarian appetizers. I tried the lamb gyro, which was tasty, but the very thick slices of lamb were more than I could handle. The texture of this lamb was noticeably different from the lamb I'm used to eating in Indian curries in that it was more sausage-like. Though the meat was moist, the sandwich as a whole was a little dry--I wished I'd had more tzatziki sauce to moisten it. Tzatziki sauce, if you're not familiar with it, is a yogurt sauce with cucumber and raw garlic.

Tyropita - feta cheese pie

The tyropita was a new dish to me. If you like the concept of spanakopita but don't care much for spinach, this dish is a dream come true--it's similar to spanakopita, but is filled with nothing but deliciously tangy cheese. The Greek salad was fresh and flavorful, but didn't come with any dressing. Since it was a takeout order, it's possible that they just forgot to throw in the dressing. The feta cheese added enough flavor for me to still enjoy the salad, though. (Maybe it's meant to be eaten without dressing, but I don't think most people would go for that.) As far as drinks go, Mama Voula's doesn't sell alcohol, so make sure to BYOB if you'd like wine with your meal. I believe corkage is free.

Though some Chowhounders say the food isn't authentic, if (like me) you have no idea what authentic Greek food tastes like, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I do like my food authentic, but first and foremost I just want it to taste good. I'm not sure I would put this place on Jonathan Gold's list of 99 Essential LA Restaurants (as he did), but I would go back.

Mama Voula's
11923 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Mama Voula's Menu
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm
Mama Voula on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I read on Chowhound that Mama Voula's has either closed or is closing soon.

Chubbypanda said...


If it didn't require driving in LA, I'd so be there.

- CP

Xericx said...

Its closed now! RIP. They said they're looking for a new location.

elmomonster said...

Restaurants are so fleeting! Good that you got in before it closed.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that they're closed temporarily due to liquor-license concerns. They supposedly already scouted two new locations in the West L.A./ Santa Monica area, so they should be up and running again soon.