La Shish (Livonia, MI)

(The La Shish Chain closed in 2007, due to the below-mentioned issues with the owner, however, several other La Shish locations have since reopened, such as the Dearborn location)

There are several cuisines that are difficult for me to enjoy in rural NH, two of the most notable being Middle Eastern food and Vietnamese food. So whenever I’m travelling, I try to find good places to fill these gaps.

Luckily, my September work travel ended up taking me to the western Detroit metro area, which is loaded with good Middle Eastern places. One of the more notable chains is La Shish (which I’ve been to before, although in a different location), which happened to have a location just down 6 Mile Road from my hotel.

La Shish hadn’t changed much from previous visits. I had an order of Chicken Schawarma (at right) served on a bed of hummous and a large basket of bread. Everything came together in this meal; the schawarma was nicely spiced and perfectly crisped, the hummous was smooth and garlicky, and the fresh bread crusy but soft on the inside. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the whole meal, but did take some bread to snack on later that evening.

Unfortunately, I also found that I was visiting La Shish during a period of turmoil. For several month’s, La Shish’s owner has been embroiled in controversy since he gave significant sums to Islamic charities suspected to be linked to Hizbollah, and, while I was there, La Shish was sued for defaulting on a loan on one of its Dearborn properties. Hopefully, they can sort out some of these issues, since the food and the restaurants are excellent.

1. Both in past and present visits, the food here has been spot-on. This is probably some of the best hummous I’ve ever had, which, considering the area, is quite some praise.
2. La Shish has locations all over the Detroit metro area (and Ann Arbor), so they are easy to find.

1. I think because of the above-mentioned issues, the staff was a bit edgy. Incredibly so once I brought out my camera (only the second time that I’ve been asked not to take pictures of a restuarant, although the manager later said it was okay)
2. Compared to many of its competitors, La Shish is a bit pricey. I think their quality and the nice atmosphere of the restaurant make the prices not unreasonable, but there are places where I can get some of the same items at almost the same quality for 2/3s the price.

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