Thanks to the nice tip from Niblet (link below) about the tiny bar at Lala Rokh! Another Hound and I had a great time last night in this cozy spot. I started off with an excellent Persian sour-cherry cocktail called the Lala-tini. The bartender Chris had some smart suggestions for us, the first was to order an appetizer "sampler" of any three appetizers from the menu, and also encouraged us to try Zaitun- E Parwardeh. This was addictive - probably one of our favorites last night. A chunky spread of green olives with lots of texture from crunchy walnuts and a hint of sweetness from pomegranate molasses. The other two we chose for our sampler were the Borani- E Esfenaj (spinach with yogurt) and Dolmeh Kado (ground beef-stuffed zucchini simmered in a light tomato sauce, similar to Lebanese Kousa). Everything was sooo good with the sesame bread they provided.
We also ordered a full size appetizer portion (8$) of the Kashk- E Bademjan. This was great - described on the menu as "velvety roast of eggplant, caramelized onions, and goat's milk yogurt garnished with minced beef and mint oil". I especially loved the sweetness from the garnish of crispy caramelized onions. We also split an entree - a special last night - tender chunks of slow-cooked veal and carrots served with basmati rice. To accompany, we ordered both types of their homemade yogurt - the Mast Khiar (with cucumber and dill) and Mast Musir (with Persian shallots). We may have over-did it a bit (could definitely make a meal of just appetizers and side dishes), and couldn't fit any dessert in, but what a great meal, great spot, and great company. Will definitely be back!
We intended to have a light supper of a few appetizers and a couple of nice drinks. And then we couldn't decide between the appetizer choices and the sides. So we got most of them. And then the special braised veal sounded so good we needed to try it. And then we couldn't decide between which home-made yogurt so we got both. Ooof. What absolutely divine food ... not a clunker in the bunch.
Really nice service. When I arrived a little bit before my dining companion I was welcomed warmly, whisked right in, entertained by stories from the barman, and told all about the menu. Justin, the manager on duty, took good care of us too and we talked a bit about Bin 26 Enoteca, which i hadn't realized was owned by the same folks.
A really lovely spot, and definitely a great recommendation from Niblet.
A quick note: unfortunately they don't have Zaitun- E Parwardeh on the menu anymore but there is a fantastic mushroom appetizer!