Westwood has a lot of good food: Fat Sal’s, In-N-Out, Gushi, Bella Pita, Diddy Riese, Boiling Crab, etc., but students quarantining in apartments and dorms have exhausted their nearby Postmates options. Nick The Greek in Westwood recently opened on October 8th, and it is the perfect way to transport your taste buds to Greece, away from the flavors of Westwood.
Nick The Greek began in San Francisco by three guys named Big Nick, Little Nick, and Baby Nick. Their traditional roots from the Mediterranean inspired them to open up a street food service that serves up authentic souvlaki and gyros. Anton, an employee in the Westwood location, said:
“We are different from the other places that serve gyros. Normally, one would have to sit down and eat the sandwich with unnecessary additions and twists. The Nicks did not want that. They wanted to serve you the real thing, straight from Greece.”
The Nicks had the right ideas because it turns out that the whole Bay Area agreed with them. Their popularity propelled them to open up 15 locations in the area, but they did not stop there. In May this year, Nick The Greek was able to move down to south California, and they opened a spot in Ventura. Apart from the Westwood location that opened this month, they also plan to expand their authentic street food to Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks in February. When asked about their new Westwood location, Anton said:
“We chose Westwood because of UCLA. We want to be the spot where students can quickly and casually pick up a good-quality gyro without having to wait in a fancy and expensive Mediterranean restaurant.”
Nick The Greek plans to open up beer and wine on tap, including White Claw and other seltzer drinks. Unlike other locations, the Westwood location is a large space for students to gather.
“We normally have a smaller space since we are known for being a quick food service, but we really want to make this [the Westwood location] a spot for students to hang out and enjoy themselves.”
Currently, Nick The Greek is open from 11 am to 9 pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 11 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturdays. They have takeout and dine in options, including great outdoor seating.
Nick The Greek’s most popular menu item is the Beef and Lamb Gyro sandwich, followed by their bowls and plates and of course, falafel. Not only was the meat lean, tender and perfectly seasoned, wrapped in a pillow-y pita, complemented by cool tzatziki sauce, and dusted with paprika, but their addition of French fries places this gyro at the top of my list. Normally, I am not a fan of fries in my sandwiches, but as Anton says, “it is traditional to eat French fries in gyros,” I had to try the whole deal. I was blown away by the French fries- it was the perfect touch for the gyro to earn a chef’s kiss from me. They were slender and seasoned lightly, not making a heavy sandwich. It was the sprinkles-on-the-cake or the bow-on-the-present.
The falafel bowl is another favorite at Nick The Greek. Olivia Davidson, who also ventured out with me to check out the new addition to Westwood, said:
“The falafel tasted very fresh. I could taste the chickpeas and other whole ingredients! It is definitely going to become a regular spot for me.”
People heard about the opening of Nick The Greek and their excitement was apparent. The line wrapped around the corner and down the block. We asked some of them about their experience:
“We loved everything! The gyro was super yummy and the fries were awesome. Let me say that again, the Greek fries were exceptional.”
“The chicken and rice were really good! I think that it was inexpensive for the decent serving of food.”
Finally, we can’t forget about dessert! Nick The Greek serves Greek frozen yogurt and it is AMAZING or dare I even say better than ice cream. It was simple, sweet but tangy. The flavors just bounced around in my palate. I was experiencing a sense of euphoria as I kept eating spoon after spoon. It was the perfect grand finale of the meal.
The one thing that stands out about Nick The Greek is their authenticity: the flavorful meat, soft pita, refreshing tzatziki, and the perfectly made French fries that tie the whole gyro together. The trip does not stop there. There are fresh falafels, Greek fries loaded with toppings and finally, the Greek yogurt which made me speechless. As travel is limited during COVID times, Nick The Greek gives your senses a trip to Greece. This will be my go-to place in Westwood to satisfy my itch to travel during these difficult times, and I suggest every world traveler to try out Nick The Greek as well.