Persian food in 'Terhangeles'
With over half million Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles, I need to turn to you chowhounders to find out where they all go to eat. Where does one fine execeptional Persian food in LA? What dishes are good at the restaurants you suggest?
I've now had a disappointing 3rd meal at Darya - oily Tadig which was not burnt at all with a sad excuse for fessenjon ladled on top. Over minted and bitter Borani (probably found the cheapest eggplant they could use). Chicken barg that was so dry you almost choked. Unfluffed rice with coloring to pass it off as saffron...... In a nutshell - completely a rip-off. Not to mention the glass of wine I ordered that never came to my table and the staff that was more interested in gossiping than in their clientele.
As for Sheherazad, their homemade fresh bread is a treat. But try to weigh that against being bullied into an order you did not place - that is another story. After our waiter brought over a chicken dish (we ordered lamb) and we told him it was not what we ordered, he vehemently insisted that it was what we had ordered. The worst of all was when the manager came over and sided with the waiter...... As you can expect, I've never been back.
Baran - good lunch but not spectacular. I had a special polo with yogurt and milk that was different from what dishes are usually on the Persian menus.
re: double S
Darya is way overpriced for what you get and we haven't been back due to mediocre quality. My husband ate at caspian yesterday and he said the quality was poor and he doesn't want to go back. It is too bad, with all the persians living in the area you can't find a good restaurant in orange county or LA. I really liked the kabobs at maykadeh in SF.
re: double S
This is very interesting, and it makes me think everyone prefers what they are used to. : )
When I lived in SF, I was dying for the good Persian food in LA. It's one of the reasons I moved back to LA, actually-- more Persian restaurants, more Persian grocers, more Persian film and media, a much larger Persian community, and generally more options all across the board.
There was one small Persian market in SF at that time (2001-2002), a few Mediterranean markets of other origins, and only one or two Persian restaurants in SF proper. San Jose seemed to be to only place closeby that had more options.
As of right now, my family eats most at the following locations in LA County:
Raffi's in Glendale
It's All Good in Reseda -- Isfahany owned kabob take-out place-- very cheap, Persian, semi-fast food (it takes the owner time to prep the order because he grills fresh). It's basically a hole-in-the-wall that serves to a multiethnic clientele.
Westwood Blvd. and Ventura Blvd offer a multitude of other options. There are just too many to choose from, but within that wealth, there are many good options where I would be happy to eat at any time, and many of them have already been mentioned below.
At Shamshiri in Westwood recently had a great crunchy tahdig topped with a daily special of roasted eggplant and peas, and their chicken barg is pretty reliable. They make good fresh bread too. Also Shiraz in Glendale is very good.
I'll throw in my two cents. Note, I am not Iranian, have never been to Iran, and should probably not be posting since I can in no way speak to authenticity - and many posters on this board can. Deliciousness however, I'm into.
I really, really like the lunch only Attari sandwich shop (enter on Wilkins, just around the corner off of Westwood Blvd). Along with the lovely little courtyard and Persian ladies who lunch scene, the sandwiches are excellent. I've tried the kuku (a spinach omelet kind of thing) and the olivieh, which I liked best (a potato/chicken salad). Enclosing these these tasty fillings is a perfect baguette and there are these really good pickles (along with tomato and lettuce) inside. Definitely one of the best sandwiches on the westside.
I also see people there eating soup - don't know what kind, but lots of folks are getting it. Maybe once it cools down more, I'll give it a try. But I'm pretty hooked on the olivieh sandwich.
Also for lunch I enjoy the Canary Sandwich Shop. The sandwiches aren't as good as Attari's, but they have a wider range of things to order. I've gotten different stews and liked them all. Atmosphere is less charming as well, but it's not as crowded and you can spend hours here chatting away with no pressure to free up a table.
1388 WESTWOOD BLVD 103
LOS ANGELES, CA 90024
CANARY CHICKEN HOUSE
1942 WESTWOOD BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90025
There are folks who swear by Javan in west la.
Sorry about shahrzad. I've never had a problem there but I see how your experience could have soured you on the place. My fave place closed years ago - dizi cozy on westwood blvd - with the lamb soup served with a pestle to grind it all up.
Attari serves dizi on Fridays only - it is by far the best thing they do.
Canary also serves the dish, but their version is blander than one
might wish it to be.
I am also a fan of Javan, whose stews, the soul of the cuisine,
tend to be quite good, and of Sharezad, also of that halal Persian
place across from Pasadena City College.
Our rundown of Westwood/west LA:
Javan: Best rice pilafs (especially albolo polo, shirin polo, & baghali polo), best grilled meats, best fesenjan. Surprisingly, the steamed vegetables (offered as an alternative to the rice) are excellent. Their appetizers are mostly so-so.
Darya: Best kashk o'bademjan I've had anywhere. Otherwise mostly run-of-the-mill, albeit stylish.
Shahrezad: Best bread. I have a soft spot for Shahrezad because this is where I first discovered Persian food years and years ago, but (other than the bread) the food overall is not up to Javan's standards.
Attari Patough: I agree with ks in la, this place is a winner, especially the soup and the kuku sandwich.
Canary: I want to like it more than I do; they do have a variety of fresh juices which is nice.
Shamshiri: Haven't been recently, and can't comment on their recent move to fresh bread. Overall the food was OK but not as good as Javan and Shahrezad.
Baran: Haven't been yet, the reviews from other Chowhounds haven't been especially positive.
Caspian: Tried it once, thought it was just OK.
Haven't tried Tajrish in Marina del Rey, which has gotten some positive reports here.