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What's the best Persian restaurant in LA?


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  1. It depends what you are looking for. The best kabobs IMHO are at Raffi's Place (Aremenian owned) in Glendale - where I think the beef soltani & the whitefish are excellent (they are closed on mondays). In downtown LA try Shekarchi (Iranian owned) for excellent persian kabobs (open Mon - Fri).

    I think that to get a good kabob you have to leave the Westwood are. If you are in O.C. the original Darya across from South Coast plaza is good.

    There is a place in Westwood for lunch time cuisine, I think it's called Atari & if I remember correctly it is across the street from the 7-11 and you enter through a courtyard.

    Also in Irvine, Wholesome Choice market is a persian grocer with a Whole Foods style hot foods section.

    And for the rest, I am sorry to inform you, none of the restaurants come close to the stews that we have at home! If my grandma ever opens a restaurant, I'll let you know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hungryhyena

      attari sandwich shop
      although their 'legal' address is on westwood blvd, their actual entrance is on wilkins, around the corner.

      they have the best shirazi salad in town and their asch (soup) is terrific

    2. raffi's was the best but no longer. there is a significant drop in quality. i think to have a really good kebab you have to either make it or go to a wedding.

      i hope your grandma does open a restaurant... or someone's. this city just doesn't have a fine example of persian cuisine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: epop

        I agree that there's nothing like homecooked Persian food, but I just wanted to point out, if there is a good Persian restaurant out there, it's most likely in LA, since this is where most of the expatriate Persian community is (sort of like how Miami is the expat capital for Cubans).

        Also, the Persian wedding fooding is usually catered by Persian restaurants or Persian catering businesses, so if that's good, then someone out there must be doing something right. :)

        Personally, when I eat Persian food out, I stick with the kabobs, appetizers and salads, because I agree with you that grandma and mom do the homemade stews best. :)

        1. re: epop

          CORRECTION: I now agree that Raffi's (open every day) has the best Persian kabob of the many places tried. I'd given up on the restaurants.

        2. Persian relatives from NoCal think Shamshiry (sp) in Glendale or Sheherzad (sp) in Westwood are the best LA has to offer. But agree w/ above poster - nothing in a commercial Persian rest. comes close to great homemade Persian food.

          1. For kebab, Shiraz in Glendale

            For tah dig, Shamshiri Grill in Westwood. They also bake their own fresh bread which is quite good

            1. My favorite in the LA area has to be Javan. Great kabob, rice dishes, and tahdig (get half gheimeh, half ghormeh sabzi -- double the delicious!), and the ash-e-jo (thick barley soup) is flavorful, warming, cozy. I just wish they'd replace the cold lavash with some yummier bread.

              If you're willing to step out a bit, the Green Cottage in Woodland Hills is exemplary. It's cozy and family-run, the portions are huge, and the quality seems to be a cut above the Westwood gaggle of kabob places. They also have delicious pickled garlic.

              And I second the recommendation for Attari Sandwich Shop -- a sunny courtyard that offers a very different corner of the Iranian culinary landscape than the kabob shops.

              And yep, make friends with an Iranian and have them take you home with them for dinner -- really the best bet.

              1. If you can get down to Irvine, you should try Caspian. It is wonderful. It's at the 5 freeway and Culver. I love Persian food!

                1. hey, you guys, what a fantastic list of suggestions! On another Chowhound post, however, i did hear that Javan had slid a bit... Tannazie, it sounds divine from your description... What do you think?
                  And I look forward to that grandmother-owned restaurant. :- )

                  1. Never mind! It wasn't Javan that got a bad review. It was Darya. Sorry.

                    1. I like Shiraz in Sherman oaks

                      1. After two mediocre meals at Javan, I'm going to have to give thumbs up to Shaherzad. I've been twice over the last three years whenever I get the chance to get down to LA from San Francisco and both meals were incredible. The bread is freshly baked in their tanoor (flavorful and not too hard and stale like most Persian bread at restaurants), the tahchin is the best I've ever had (especially with lamb, rather than chicken), and the eggplant dishes are all fantastic. I wish I'd never gone to Javan and always to Shaherzad...

                        1. These are the places my family eats kabob in order of where we eat most:

                          It's All Good in Reseda-- take-out (order by phone and pick it up)-- they have a chef's combo plate that has one skewer of every type of kabob the owner makes (the owner cooks the kabob, usually)-- beef, ground beef, ground chicken and chicken breast. Comes with rice or lavash bread. Service may be slow, even if you order by phone, but we always order from there if my mom doesn't want to cook homemade.

                          Raffi's Place in Glendale-- the last time we went was a few months ago, and everyone from my grandma to my little sis enjoyed it. Dine in.

                          Shamshiri Grill-- this is where I like to eat when I'm in Westwood. I only go once or twice a year, but it is always good. Huge portions too. You could order one kabob plate and some appetizers and split it among two people, and you still might have leftovers.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: katkoupai

                            shamshiri is my westwood favorite, too.

                            1. re: katkoupai

                              i don't like the places you mention, although i haven't tried It's All Good. you're right, in your post above; one would think the persian food here would be the best around, given the population. it is better than ny and most other cities, because of the quantities. but
                              certainly nothing like Byblos in Montreal, for example. there the chef is an artist making simple and great food.
                              I'd like to see more women chefs, actually and
                              someone open a place that understands the subtleties of this cuisine, not just throwing huge amounts on platters and then calling it a restaurant.

                              1. re: epop

                                Good idea. There's a certainly healthy (and wealthy) Iranian/Persian population that would likely support an upscale restaurant.

                            2. What's the parking like at Shamshiri? I'm always wary of going anywhere in Westwood.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: SauceSupreme

                                because it's not in the village (it is on westwood blvd. north of santa monica blvd), the parking is more reasonable.
                                i generally find parking at one of the metered spots on westwood blvd. within a couple of blocks of the restaurant.

                              2. Its not in Westwood Village, it's on Westwood Blvd near Santa Monica Blvd Street parking?

                                BTW, there is a huge new-ish City parking structure on Broxton in Westwood Village that was built with parking meter money.

                                1. Heidar Baba

                                  1511 E Colorado Blvd

                                  1. we are neophytes to persian food though my kids had a lot of homecooked meals with friends. they thought that Bacara's on N. Brand in Glendale was worthy!

                                    1. I'd go with Shamshiri Grill.

                                      1. it depends on the dishes you'll be ordering.
                                        for the best shirazi salad, i like attari sandwich shop.
                                        for the best ghormeh sabzi , i like shamshiri grill
                                        for the best bread, i like the place north of shamshiri (sherazade? flame? i know it when i see the storefront)

                                        at any rate, you get my point.

                                        1. best tahdiq is Shaherzad...beats shamshiri and javan...javan has greata lamb.

                                          1. I like Darya very much in W. LA. All their food is high quality and delicious. I like the 3 sauce Tahdig (burnt rice), Borani (eggplant), Shirazi salad, and Chicken cornish. The restaurant is very popular with the local Persian community, often quite busy during dinnertime. At some point, they switched from round dishes to triangular shaped dishes which lessened the portion size. Considering that Darya's prices can reach $25 per dish, I was not too happy about that.

                                            I used to go to Shamshiri many years ago when it was south of Santa Monica Blvd. After they moved north of Santa Monica, the ambiance was brighter, resembling a Spanish cafe, but the food inversely declined in authenticity and quality. Now the last time I tried their current location was more than 8 years ago. Perhaps it's high time for a revisit.

                                            Javan I visited once and thought it was mediocre. This was more than 5 years ago.

                                            Shamshiri Restaurant
                                            19249 Roscoe Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: hanguolaohu

                                              There's is heresay, but from a friend who is Persian/Iranian (take your pick!) and considers himself kind of a foodie (he's not) - says Javan. He recommends the lamb.

                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                There's is heresay,
                                                i assume this is a disclaimer that you're passing along secondhand info (hearsay) with the Javan recommendation...? at first i was trying to figure out if/why you were accusing hanguolaohu of heresy! :)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Exactly, total hearsay, which I'm reluctant to pass on, but it's a fairly reliable source. Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it.

                                                  Shamshiri Grill - to those who know it - what should I order there that would make me think it's better'n Javan? I'm opening to knowing more about (and eating better) Persian food.

                                                  Shamshiri Grill
                                                  1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                    Second Ghormeh Sabzi with lamb neck (Mon and Fri only) at Shamshiri. Awesome. I went to Javan once and returned promptly to Shamshiri Grill for all future Persian meals.

                                                    I also like the lamb and chicken koobideh at Shamshiri. Very juicy and flavorful.

                                                    Adas Polo is also good there.

                                                    Shamshiri Grill
                                                    1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                    Shamshiri Restaurant
                                                    19249 Roscoe Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

                                            2. My favorite by a large margin is Shamshiri Grill.

                                              Shamshiri Grill
                                              1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: sushigirlie

                                                imho, Shamshiri Grill makes a mean Ghormeh Sabzi.
                                                also, to my palate their take on dolmas is the best in town.
                                                instead of using oil-soaked white rice as the filling they use a lentil mixture.
                                                much more tasty and contains much more protein than a white rice rice filling.

                                                Shamshiri Grill
                                                1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  that's a different rice dish, not that they soak it differently. One is plain white rice (saffron), with butter/oil, and the other is a lentil rice dish.

                                                  Persians wouldn't eat that stew with the lentil rice
                                                  but maybe you're on to something. The Ghormeh Sabzi already
                                                  has beans in it.

                                                  1. re: epop

                                                    is the lentil rice dish of which you are speaking ADDAS POLO?

                                                    if so, although i love that dish when made with their brown rice, the dish to which i was referring is their stuffed grape leaf dish which is served as an appetizer. the stuffing is NOT the white rice one normally sees, and to my palate the lentil stuffing tastes tons better.

                                                    as far as eating adas polo with ghormeh sabzi, although i order them together, in the interests of calorie control i normally eat only the ghormeh sabzi at the restaurant and i take the adas polo home to eat as another meal entirely (actually, they serve enough of it so that their "side portion" actually will cover me for another two meals). maybe i was inadvertently eating close to the way Persians eat. a "normal" meal at Shamshiri grill is too much even for me to eat in one sitting.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      yes, Adas polo, or rice with lentils. Sorry about the confusion.

                                                      Portion control hasn't hit Persian restaurants.

                                                      1. re: epop

                                                        Leftovers! The basmati rice still tastes great re-heated.

                                                      2. re: westsidegal

                                                        The portions at Shamshiri Grill are preposterous. They're so large that they're a negative in my mind.

                                                        Shamshiri Grill
                                                        1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                        1. re: sushigirlie

                                                          Shamshiri used to be so much better at their old location before they added non-Persian items like hummus to their menu

                                                          Shamshiri Restaurant
                                                          19249 Roscoe Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

                                                  2. No one restaurant is the best; I like to think about "best dish"es rather than one "best restaurant" in particular...

                                                    Ash (soup): Attari Sandwich Shop

                                                    Chicken olivieh sandwich: Attari Sandwich shop

                                                    Doogh (yogurt drink): Shaherzad

                                                    Ghormeh sabzi (Persian herbal stew): Shaherzad (although properly made homemade ghormeh sabzi easily beats any restaurant's)

                                                    Ghaimeh bademjan: Shaherzad

                                                    Kababs: Raffi's or Shamshiri Grill

                                                    Soltani (beef filets): Flame

                                                    Tah dig: Darya (West LA)

                                                    Fesenjan: Javan

                                                    Estamboli polo, albaloo polo, zereshk polo, bagali polo: Shaherzad

                                                    Any lamb dish: Canary

                                                    Fish: Javan

                                                    Nan (oven-baked bread): Shaherzad

                                                    Faloodeh: Shaherzad
                                                    Bastani (ice cream, rosewater): Mashti Malone's
                                                    Cucumber ice cream: Persian Ice Cream, next to Pomodoro in Westwood

                                                    Sorry my thinking's so "all over the place", but I believe there is disarray when it comes to this issue. True Chowhounds would understand (and make the proper pilgrimages), I hope...

                                                    Shamshiri Grill
                                                    1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                    1422 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                    Attari Sandwich Shop
                                                    1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                    Soltani Restaurant
                                                    1535 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                    3887 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                      Oops, didn't see this. Thanks J.L.

                                                      1. re: J.L.

                                                        let me add to J.L.'s list:
                                                        shirazi salad ATTARI SANDWICH SHOP

                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                            I agree with this, attari for soup and friday lamb. Also the ice cream places are great.

                                                            Aside from that NONE OF THE FOOD at Persian restaurants in L.A. is even average in quality, if you have ever made any of it at home, or had it made for you at someone's home.

                                                            I don't think a Persian chef is there making it in any of the places mentioned above.
                                                            Flame had that, for a while, but the last 2 meals I had there were disgusting. Same with Darya, Javan, Shamshiri (once excellent) and so forth. It is rather ridiculous.

                                                            Shamshiri Restaurant
                                                            19249 Roscoe Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

                                                          2. re: J.L.

                                                            Wow J.L., what an amazing list! Thanks!

                                                            1. re: J.L.

                                                              What about Shah Abbas? No one's mentioned it here, but on another Chowhound post re Fesenjan someone recommended it. It had very mixed reviews on yelp...

                                                              I'm slowly trying all the Persian restaurants on the Westside that have Fesenjan which is my favorite.

                                                              So far I like Javan & the place across from Pasadena City College the best.

                                                              Shamshiri Westwood was refreshing, but just OK.

                                                              Also I don't see any mention here of Reyhan in Culver City, --any comments on that-- there was 1 good review for Fesenjan... but other reviews said its gone downhill.

                                                              Going somewhere for late lunch or early dinner tonite( Westside only), so far thinking between trying Shah Abbas & Reyan... which would you recommend better for Fesenjan, or somewhere else on the Westside that I haven't tried? I'd love to know asap if you get this, thanx! :)

                                                              1. re: BerryPieFanatic

                                                                I've been told Shekarcheh (downtown) is a cut above the Westside Persian places, which are literally so substandard at this point that there's zero reason to go. Attari still does some things adequately, at least.

                                                                I haven't tried the place downtown yet though, because I don't believe it.

                                                                1. re: epop

                                                                  Shekarchi is OK, nothing great.

                                                            2. Skaf's Grill - Oxnard and Laurel Canyon. Good quality, very friendly service.

                                                              Skaf's Grill
                                                              6008 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

                                                              1. Darband in Tarzana is excellent!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: chewbacca

                                                                  Too bad about Shekarcheh. Darn. Darband is run of the mill, imho.