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Aug 24, 2006 04:02 PM

Addictive Appetizers at Lala Rokh

Last night I intended to pick up the spinach appetizer at Lala Rokh and ended up at the bar for my own little party. This place is a gem. I haven’t been here in months but Janet the bartender makes you feel like family at the 4-seat bar. Appetizers are the way to go. Prices at $7-8 each. In each of these there’s some spice that makes it unique; it’s beyond my palate to figure out.

These two I can’t recommend enough:
"Borani- E Esfenaj" - sauteed spinach, caramelized onions, with walnuts and homemade yogurt. When I get this craving it must be appeased.

"Loubia Sabz" - blanched green beans, fresh dill, cubed jalapeno peppers, cooked with a creamy lime dressing. This was surprisingly spicy and addictive. Highly recommend.

This had interesting flavor, literally a moist spice cake, but I’d order something different next time. The first word should've warned me to get something else:
"Kookoo Bademjan" - flourless roasted eggplant and spice cake served with persian shallot yogurt.

I didn’t get this, but apparently it’s one of the most popular. One of the guys at the bar mentioned it specifically as his favorite, and then a regular came in and his first question was whether they’d set aside an order for him:
"Dolmeh Kado" - zucchini stuffed with ground beef and yellow split pea, cooked in a light tomato sauce with yogurt.

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  1. Thanks for posting this Niblet -- curious how busy they were last night? Sounds like with you, the regular and the other guy at the 4-seat bar, it was probably full, huh? I ask because I would love to have a glass of wine and an app at Lala Rokh but not if it's standing room only...

    2 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      I rarely see more than two, if any, people at the bar, when I walk by, or at my couple times there. 3 last night!??!!? The bar is booming!

      1. re: Alcachofa

        Yup, one more would’ve been a crowd. And I needed space for all my plates!

        The dining room was mostly full because of RW. That there was room at the bar decided me on staying.

        Oh, and the spinach appetizer is one of the options on the RW menu. That plus their version of crème brulee with rose water, which is fabulous with sherry, amontillado what-have-you, was very tempting. But I’m glad I got them beans! Ha!

    2. I really need to get back there. Thanks for the rundown on those apps. I still dream about the eggplant appetizer with the minced beef in the center with yogurt cream and mint oil. Unbelievable. And their plain basmati rice is the best I've ever had.

      1. I dont remember the apps that well but that yogurt stuff you get on the side is to die for.

        1. I had the Borani- E Esfenaj (spinach), Loubia Sabz (green beans) and Dolmeh Kado (stuffed zucchini) tonight--all were described in more detail in the original post. All three were psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop-FANTASTIC. I had hoped the Loubia Sabz would be spicier (but it was still tremendous).

          Just posting to agree with Niblet's post. Her foods writin' skillz is much better'n mine. Also, MichaelB nailed the Dolmeh Kado (eggplant) description. Gotta remember the basmati rice for next time. We also had a tomato/cucumber salad, which was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.

          Oh, also had the Fereni for desert, a kind of custardy thing. It had a rosewater element that was almost too strong, unless you made sure to have a bit of the fruit and almonds that were served with it with each bite. Then it was nice.