I have to put in a plug for the best Middle Eastern restaurant in Los Angeles, IMHO: the Carnival on Woodman in Studio City. Cheap, plentiful, and delicious--who could ask for anything more?
For me, Mideastern food is the best type of food on earth. I first ate it when I was about seven years old, and it was a revelation. An uncle took us to an Armenian restaurant in Manhattan, and when I took my first bite I thought, "Where have you been all my life?" It was as though until then I'd been eating in black-and-white, and now the food was in Technicolor. In those days, the only ethnic foods around tended to be Italian (pizza and spaghetti, and if you were really adventurous, some lasagna), and old-time Chinese of the chow mein and chop suey variety, plus a few soggy eggrolls.
For years afterwards, I made quite a pest of myself unsuccessfully begging my parents to take me back to the Armenian restaurant. It wasn't until I was grown up that Mideastern food became readily available, and I could indulge my craving. I also acquired a stable of Mideastern cookbooks, and cooked up a storm.
If you go to the Carnival, order the combo appetizer plate: tabooli, falafel, baba ganoush, and hummus. Or, actually, order anything.
(Driving up to San Francisco this afternoon. More culinary adventures await.)