A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Anaheim and stopped at my all-time favorite Little Arabia restaurant: Kareem's Restaurant, home to the world's greatest falafel. I had the sandwich, of course, and owner Nancy Hawari sneaked in some Lebanese chili paste to meet my Mexican standards. My chica wanted some of their lentil soup, earthy and thick and among the better versions out there.
One problem, though: Kareem's no longer bothers with lentil soup on a daily basis because business is faltering.
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Yes, even a mainstream success like Kareem's is feeling the Great Recession. Nancy told me that the success of Little Arabia means that they're getting less and less business as more and more restaurants close. It's gotten to the point where she won't prepare certain dishes now (she and her husband Mike make everything to-order) because she just doesn't get enough business to justify buying the ingredients.
A request, gentle readers: visit Kareem's this week. Nancy, almost always a fountain of joy, seemed downright sad. Please order the lentil soup, a can of Vimto and a falafel sandwich to go. I'll be there Friday afternoon--howzabout you?
Kareem's, 1208 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 778-6829