Somewhat peculiarly, one of my favorite Bangkok street foods isn't Thai, or even South-east Asian. The small alley off Sukhumvit known as 'Little Arabia' is distinctive for its abundance of Middle Eastern restaurants and businesses. Walking down the tightly packed alley, among the calls of touts and the sweet scent of hookah smoke, I feel more like I'm in Syria than in Bangkok. This atmosphere spills out of the crowded alley into the surrounding area, and along neighboring Soi 3 are scattered a number of Middle Eastern restaurants.
Down Soi 3, across the street from the Grace Hotel, a small Lebanese shawarma seller stands squeezed between the Bamboo Bar and a take-way pizza window. There are only two options, beef or chicken, but both are so delicious that you would never wish for anything else. After selecting, you take a seat at the metal sidewalk tables, while the sharply-dressed chef carves the meat, wraps it in two layers of pita, and grills it briefly to toast the outside of the wrap. The meat is perfectly flavored and textured, and significantly better than most 'Middle Easten' food stands in Bangkok. But most impressively, each sandwich comes with its own set of accoutrements: the beef is sweetened with a minty yogurt and a suggestion of parsley, and the chicken is complemented with pickled vegetables, crisp french fries, and a deliciously creamy garlic sauce. Such incredible attention to detail can only be the result of the chef's true love for shawarma, which will surely by shared by anyone else who eats here.