If we were not living in our 6th arrondissement, the 4th is probably the other place we would hang our hats.  It is charming.  It is hip.  Small, crooked streets and fashionable shops and happening bars and good food at a bargain and good food at a price.  You can find it all here, on the other side of the Seine.
 
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L’As du Fallafel
32, rue des Rosiers
01.42.77.89.94
M° Saint-Paul

 
Euro - 8 or less
This place is famous the world over and even Lenny Kravitz recommends it.  (It’s true, the menu proudly proclaims that fact and there’s even a framed picture of the musician’s visit hanging inside the restaurant).  We’ve read about L’As in the New York Times and in a budget travel article where the author noted that he always makes his way here whenever he’s in town.  With all of that press, we figured we ought to try it out ourselves.

Even if we hadn’t heard all about it in advance, had we been just wandering through this beautiful little lane we would have been corralled inside by the effective hawkers out front.  “Falafel?” these young men in hip attire would ask anyone passing within 15 feet of the restaurant.  They aren’t pushy but it is hard to turn down their offer.
 
 
 
 
 
  The Main Attraction:  The fallafel spécial (7€ dine-in/5€ to go) attracts stars and regular folks near and far.
 
 

 
 
 
Whenever we decide to eat in, our routine is this:  one fallafel spécial (7€ dine-in; 5€ to go) each and an assiette de frites “maison” (5€) to share.  We eat our food on flimsy plastic plates with flimsy forks to pick at the innards when the pita starts to fall apart.  Inside the portly pita one finds the following: half a dozen crispy chickpea pellets – the lead of the show, the falafel – creamy hummus, pickled red cabbage, cucumbers, harissa sauce, and fried eggplant.  Normally, neither of us particularly likes eggplant but this is the exception.  The delicious eggplant may even rival the falafel.  We consume all of this on our small table decked out with the restaurant’s name.  The interior is not very soothing, much like the inside of a fast food joint.  Although the decor is a bit more eclectic here.  Though you pay more eating in, you avoid the mess when taking the food to go and you get access to as much spicy sauce as you want from the green and red jars on the table.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  The Also-Ran:  The schawarma (€9 dine-in/7€ to go); it is not bad but better ones could be had elsewhere on this street.
 
 
 
 
 
  The Sauce:  It might be worth shelling out extra euros to dine in just to have constant access to this great spicy sauce.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes, we would order our falafel sandwiches from the window, save a few euros, and take the food with us to a nearby playground by a church, wedged between clos des Blancs-Manteaux and rue des Francs Bourgeois.  This is a nice place to enjoy this wonderful meal while watching the children play.

We can’t add any more superlatives to L’As but we can confirm that it does live up to its name.  There are a few other similar restaurants along this street that we think are equally good.  They just haven’t gotten the same treatment in the press.  So, eat here to say that you have, and be happy that you have, but give the other poor shops a try too when you return.
 
 
 
 
  The Champ and its Companions:  We like to have our falafels with the assiette de frites “maison” (5€).
 
 
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