May 29, 2012 by Sarah M
// By Drew Kerr //
WHITTIER — Sameh and Saed Wadi wanted a restaurant, but got a food truck instead.
But after three years of roadside service, the owners of the World Street Kitchen food truck are going back to Plan A, building out a restaurant of the same name in the Greenleaf apartment building, located at 2743 Lyndale Ave. S.
“It was never our aspiration to open a food truck, but when we found out about the food truck thing, we figured what better way to eat global street food than on the street,” Sameh Wadi said. “It’s been a good run, but we’re excited about the next chapter.”
The restaurant, which is expected to open by the end of the year, will not replace the food truck, but rather serve as a complement to it.
Like its four-wheeled predecessor, the restaurant will feature a cross-cultural menu built around ethnic food, swift service and affordable dishes, with items priced at no more than $12.
The space is also being designed to have a street-like quality, with a “rugged” feel and recycled elements.
“We’re still following the same footsteps as the food truck.,” said Sameh Wadi, who will serve as the chef and described the concept as “what fast food should be in this country.”
The Wadis, who are brothers, began seeking a restaurant space three years ago, and continued to look for a space even after taking a detour to open the food truck.
They settled on the Lyndale Avenue location – a 2,700-square-foot space with seating for up to 70 people – after considering several spaces in the neighborhood, where Sameh Wadi used to live.
While the Wadis remain unsure about their opening date – it is, they say, dependent in part on city approvals – they do know that they plan to offer lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends. They also hope to serve beer and wine.