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Jul 22, 2006 02:41 AM

Baran, new Persian, don't bother

I have been beguiled for a number of months by the renovation of this building south of SM on Westwood and the sign that said New Restaurant coming (or something like that). Todays lunch was our first try and it will be the last - for sure.

Gorgeous room - looks like a nightclub with patterned carpet, heavy chairs, designer lighting and lots of interesting panels.

Too bad the food and service does not match. I ordered the lamb shank with dill rice - a fatty overcooked limb arrived with pretty mundane rice (my neighbor makes much better rice so I'm spoiled), Mme Zoe ordered the shish kabab which was supposed to be filet minon but was some other part of the cow, plain rice, good tomato. No salad, came with the meal.

I am still mourning the passing of Sherkachi the icon of all Persian restaurants. However, Shamshiri in my view has pulled up its sox lately and we have had a few good meals there and good service.

Not so at Baran; only one table besides us (it was after 2pm) and we waited 10 minutes for a menu and water after a server brought us the bread, mint butter and a little slab of cheese. An overdressed pomaded young man who I guess was the waitperson, was busy not explaining what was available and then had to be lassooed to get the bill, told us there was no coffee and then overcharged us on dessert. This is the only time in the last 25 years that I docked a server on the tip and left 10% I was so outraged at his attitude.
The mood - really quite nice, the food no, no, no.

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  1. Funny you should mention Persian, just ate at Shiraz in Glendale last nite. Had a lot of salmon. Generous portion. Not bad. Service was a little slow downstairs (away from an upstairs party or something), but I can't quibble with the food, the portions or the price. Not worth a long journey, but if you are in the area check it out.

    1. salmon isn't persian food, for the record.
      yes, haven't had a great persian meal yet in
      LA, outside of people's homes. there is one place left to try in glendale. also i hear that
      the kebob at royal on westwood is excellent, from a fairly trusted source. but haven't had a
      chance to go there.

      1. Neither was the iced tea, but they have saffron rice, yogurt with mint, etc., etc. And the salmon was well prepared and flavored. Have you been there?

        2 Replies
        1. re: mc michael

          no, haven't been. i don't get to glendale often enough... love carousel. + there is supposed to be another persian place whose name i don't know... i think an incredible persian place has still to be made in this city.

          you're right about the iced tea.

          1. re: epop

            Check out Shiraz in Glendale. An Iranian friend who cooks a lot likes it and she is quite picky about Persian food

        2. Did delivery tonight as our usual persian seems to have changed owners. We were very impressed. Salads were so fresh and a nice mix of veggies. Salmon & Cornish Hen were both moist and large portions, leftovers for lunch. Came with grilled tomatoes and even radishes as an appetizer. Eggplant dip was very good too. The 20% off coupon was a bonus. Definately will do them again.

          1. Heidar Baba - 1511 E Colorado Bl. Pasadena.
            Huge portions, inexpensive, tasty.