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Which is the Best Persian resturant on the westside?

Went to Shamsiri a few weeks ago and the food was tasty...but the Music was SO loud....I wouldn't go back...
I know there is a place down the street called Shaherazad which is supposed to be good, and a place call Darza on Santa monica Blvd.....
But If I'm goign to go I want go to the best one out ofthe local area!!!! with alot less music!

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  1. It has been a while since I lived on the west side so there may be new joints, but my wife and her family, who are Persian, love Javan. I know that some on the board have criticized the decor, and the atmosphere as being "old" and the place is certainly not hip, but the food was always consistently good espeically the Baghala Polo, which is braised lamb shank with rice, prepared with dill and lima beans.


    1. I like Shershazad the most. Javan is ok but I like Tajirish in Marina Del Rey better than that.

      1. i love javan and have been going there for years. they're bademjan is amazing. eggplant and lamb stew. and they have amazing huge portions and the prices are great. but i don't know of all the great persian restaurants out there either.

        1. unfortunately I can't say that any are anywhere near like persian home cooking, where the
          great treasures are. most persians i know prefer darya to javan but i don't like either all that much.
          there is a niche for someone

          1. Shaherazad bakes their own bread. It's quite good.

            1. We love Persian food and have been to Javan, Shaherzad, Darya (Santa Monica Bl), Tajrish, Shamshiri (Glendale), Hank's (Persian and Italian--I kid you not--Hawthorne), and Darya (Santa Ana), plus the dear departed Shekarchi (Westwood; Santa Monica).

              For kabobs, Javan is tops for flavor, consistency, meat quality, and service. Darya (Santa Ana) was as good but I have only been there once. All the rest were good to very good except for Darya (Santa Monica) which was skimpy, used poor quality materials, and charged my credit card twice for the same meal on our only visit. (Quantity was ample in every other Persian restaurant.)

              I believe that a good comparison point is the boneless chicken kabob that is on all Persian menus. The chicken should be perfectly trimmed, solid meat without fat or other things attached, fully white throughout from proper yogurt-based marinade, and cooked all the way through but not highly burned on the edges. It should taste like chicken, but more so--it is hard to describe--a mild, slightly seasoned, but somehow intensified flavor compared to skinless chicken from a backyard barbecue.

              Javan's is right every time. Tajrish is not bad, but more like that backyard barbecue. Shaherzad has the flavor if they would only cook the chicken through; ditto Hank's. Sometimes they do.

              Another comparison point is the rice. I have been told by a Persian home cook that proper rice is always Basmati, and is cooked three times. All I can tell you is it is the best rice in the world as far as I have been able to find. Every grain is separate. Even the plain rice is delicious to the last bite. Javan always has several rice choices (lentil and lima; sweet "shirin polo" with orange peel; another with dates.)

              Tajrish's rice (2 visits) did not taste like Basmati and there were not any alternate choices. In general, Tajrish is OK if you are nearby, but it is more like a casual, limited-menu restaurant than a destination. It is 10 minutes away from us and Javan is 20 minutes and we always go to Javan.

              Shaherzad's bread oven is special, I agree. They used to have two restaurants a few doors apart, with the only difference being that "Flames of Shaherzad" offered fresh bread from that oven. They closed Flames awhile back and moved the oven. The bread is delightful but only when fresh. Even 10 minutes in your basket is a bad idea, so butter and eat it the moment it arrives.

              Javan's stews and other items are very enjoyable, but I am a kabob fan and usually get chicken, chicken barg, or lamb kebob.
              When we are **really** hungry we will get a Tadigh, which is a rice crust with stew; we have the ghaimeh stew with it and that is nice indeed.

              I am not Persian/Iranian but discovered this cuisine when Shamshiri opened on Westwood in the mid-1970s and have been hooked ever since. Beats the hell out of a coffee-shop meal for about the same price, too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lee by the Sea

                Nothing compares with the food that the late Shekarchi served - shame the owner died and took the receipes with him - it was one sublime meal after another. About 20 years ago there was another Shekarchi where the New India Grill is now - the opening was a blast with mounds of wonderful offerings including the dish that has french fries on top and must be the most sinful mouthfulls ever, it tasted so good. I remember that two family members ran these two restaurants - happily at first and then not so happily later. Still waiting for a replacement because all the forgoing don't do it. Will try the Marina one soon.

              2. I love Javan. I have eaten there at least 8 times and never been disappointed.

                1. Javan is my fave hands down, and have been going there for years before chowhound came around.

                  it's as a reliable as an old shoe with prices to match, nothing exciting but good food (usually plenty of it) at very reasonable prices.

                  1. Trivial Pursuit - L.A. Restaurant Addition.

                    Does anyone know a restaurant that may have been Persian but I think it was Lebonese, on Wilshire in the Museum Corridor? It is/was on the South side in the bottom floor of a semi-high rise offiice building. I ate there along time ago and had the most memorable Pita/Flat bread. When it arrived at the table straight from the oven it was puffed filled with steam. So who knows what the name is /was. Or surely one you know where to find fresh from the oven, flat breads such as described above.


                    1. Yes, it was called "Al Amir" and it was a Lebanese restaurant.

                      1. i think it was Al Amir, and now that same chef owns Sunnin Lebanese Cafe which serves some of the same food (of course way less elaborate on paper plates) and much cheaper prices.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: kevin

                          Al Amir was a superb restaurant. It closed because a big business squeezed it out, not because of usual restaurant issues. There is nothing as good anywhere in L.A. anymore.
                          It was a large kitchen with a number of chefs; the owner of Sunnin is just one of them. Her goal is different; I personally prefer not to mix politics with my food.
                          Armenian cuisine of course overlaps Lebanese; there are two large Armenian restaurants all the way out in Glendale which I know are capable of cooking very good food of the type that Al Amir served. Unfortunately neither Mandaloun nor Carousel consistently does that, and Mandaloun in particular needs to tend to its physical environment and service. Perhaps it has turned into a restaurant for large local parties, for which it is well equipped, and doesn't care about dirty carpets, dirty tables, or pigeons flying into the room from outside, all of which lowlighted our last visit.

                          1. re: Lee by the Sea

                            On the subject of Lebanese, have you tried Wahib's in Alhambra? They have been there for years and reliably good.

                            1. re: Ernie

                              Thanks for the suggestion; haven't been there because we rarely are east of downtown.

                        2. Javan is good but they use the prefab one-ply bread.
                          Shahrzad is better b/c of the bread.

                          1. hmm based on my limited experience i'm going to have to go with shamshiri. javan was kinda dry in the kebab dept. at shamshiri i had a kebab and some sort of lamb stew (forgot the name)which was aces... also their little appetizer plate with the leaf-wrapped thingies and like several kinds of hummus was pretty kickin too... at javan all i got was a sliced onion! (J/K, i know it's the traditional accompaniment)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rameniac

                              Javan also has what you enjoyed at Shamshiri, but you have to order them. You didn't say what kebab you ordered, but I agree that Javan's Chicken Barg is a bit on the dry side. I've learned that the Boneless Chicken Kebab is usually more moist in Persian cuisine generally.

                            2. shamshiri also offers a ton of 'lunch specials' on the weekdays.
                              the price/quantity/quality relationship of these specials can't be beat!

                              1. I put my vote in for Javan. My best friend's hubby is Iranian and the first time they both came to visit we took them to Javan. Now everytime they're in town it's the first place they want to go. The food is authentic, well prepared, and the atmosphere is great for conversation.

                                1. went to tajrish two nights ago.
                                  quality was fine, but portions were small considering the prices.
                                  i guess i've been spoiled by shamshiri.
                                  the beef shish kabab for about $15 had about the same amount of meat as the LUNCH SPECIAL shish kabab at shamshiri--a little more that half the amount of beef they serve as a dinner entree. also at shamshiri, the lunch special or the much larger dinner entree comes with soup or your choice of salad, whereas tajrish charges an additional $3 for salad.

                                  my gourmeh sabzi was good, but, again, if i had ordered this at shamshiri, for the same price i would have gotten a larger portion AND a salad.

                                  still, there will be times i just don't want to drive. . . .

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    We live 2 blocks from Tajrish and we always leave with about 4 pounds of leftovers. The portions here are huge and the prices are really cheap. Best of all, the food is really good. Tahdig is not anywhere near as good as Darya but the stews are top notch. No one does Tahdig like Darya.

                                  2. my persian friends live right near tajrish and they won't have anything from the restaurant; they think it is not very good at all...

                                    1. Greetings,

                                      just thought I'd add my 2 cents. Javan was a lot better when they used to be at there old location. Once the kitchen expanded I think they lost their touch a bit. It's still pretty good, don't get me wrong, but not as dead on as it used to me. Daryia isn't very good imho. Shamshiri is overkill, I really don't enjoy the atmoshphere for dinner either, feels like a circus. Raffi's the last time i went there was fantastic for the beef kobideh.

                                      I'd say when it comes down to it overall Sharehzad is my favorite place. The bread is amazing and i've never had a bad serving of the chicken kobideh. The beef is also good in the traditional chelo kabab or believe it or not, in their sandwich. Which is only $8 btw and it's HUGE! I also love the sides here: the baked eggplant, cucumber yogurt and the TADIGHD (WHEN THE HAVE IT AT LEAST GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR) with gormet sabzi and gheimeh is fantastic.

                                      BTW if it matters, I'm Persian


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ronnie_gaucho

                                        you're right about all this, ronnie gaucho, in my opinion. Shaherzade is a true kabob place.

                                        I wish there was a great place to get some of the other dishes, such as a home-style ghormeh sabzi, ab gusht, meat kotlet. Canary doesn't cut it for me.

                                        1. re: epop

                                          Not to brag, but lucky for me, i have 2 grandmothers to accomidate me on the home-style stuff!


                                      2. I usually go to Shamshiri Grill, but I have also tried Shahrzad, and it was good.

                                        If you are in Glendale, I recommend Raffi's Place, and if you are ever in the Valley, I recommend a small hole-in-the-wall called It's All Good. That's my family's favorite place for large to-go orders, and we get catering from It's All Good all the time.

                                        Shamshiri Grill
                                        1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                        Raffi's Place Restaurant
                                        211 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205

                                        It's All Good House of Kabob
                                        6800 Reseda Blvd Ste C, Reseda, CA 91335

                                        1422 Westwood Boulevard, Westwood, CA