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persian/middle eastern take-out

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family dinner this weekend at my place- any recs for westside/mid-city/hollywood? if really fabulous, could be persuaded to wander over to noho/studio city/burbank. kosher a plus, but not absolutely necessary

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  1. My goto spot for middle eastern take-out is Skaf's Grill in NoHo best kabobs ever, they have plates that come with kabobs, hummus, and cabbage salad. Also their tabbouleh is excellent. I go here way too much.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: ldodb

      thanks! have heard about this place

    2. my favorite is shamshiri grill on westwood blvd just north of santa monica blvd.
      don't look at their website because the site doesn't accurately describe their extensive menu, reasonable prices and huge portion sizes.
      as a rule, two of their entrees will feed three hearty eaters (when i say hearty, i mean teenage-boy-type hearty).
      you can substitute any of their specialty rices for the normal basmati rice that they serve for free with all of their entrees for a nominal add-on fee. (my favorite specialty rice is their adas polo).
      their soups, too are very good.
      they offer a version of dolmas as a starter that is stuffed with a lentil stuffing instead of the usual oily white rice. virtually every person to whom i've introduced this dish has loved this version.

      3 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        wow- love the detailed response- will count the votes and get back to you all on the results- my cousin is visiting from chicago- don't think he has had the persian version yet...

        1. re: westsidegal

          Another vote for Shamshiri -- and note they will deliver if you are within a reasonable area. Really like their beef koobideh, the shawarma (chicken more than the beef), their flatbread, the grilled veggies that come with the entrees, and their refreshing shirazi salad (cucumber, parsley, onion, tomato). My goodness, this is the third time I'm recommending Shamshiri in less than one page of L.A. threads...

          1. re: westsidegal

            3rd for Shamshari. The food is great and I love the staff.

          2. Also note that some places might be halal; I'll have to be corrected on this, but I've always thought something that was halal was also kosher (though not necessarily vice versa).

            1 Reply
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              It is the opposite. People who keep kosher will not eat Halal, but some who eat Halal will eat kosher.

            2. Haifa restaurant on Pico and King David restaurant on Pico near La are very good middle eastern and kosher. Pretty good kosher Persian can be had from Kabob and Chinese (don't get Chinese food from them) on Pico just west of Doheney. I think they also have another location on the west side, but am not sure where.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jlq3d3

                I enjoy both of those as well for another kosher choice I would recomment Magic Carpet Read 8566 W. Pico Blvd.

                1. re: weinstein5

                  what do you guys think about eliass? my dad recommended it, but the discussions on line here sort of scared me off-- i was thinking to try somewhere pico-robertson-ish and was at margic carpet years ago- but not sure what to order and have to order for 6 adult .and 4 kids--some of us are more adventurous than others....

                  1. re: sgl

                    I have not had a bad meal at MC - wide variety on the menu so I sure even the less adventurous will be able to find something to eat -

              2. When I don't have time to drive to Skaf's -- my favorite option in LA -- then I opt for Sunnin on Westwood Blvd. The falafel is not great, but the hummus, shawarma, etc. are fantastic. And it's really cheap, which is a plus.

                3 Replies
                1. re: glutton

                  If its falafel you want on the west-side the best I have had is at habayit . They have other stuff on the menu, which I have yet to try just because every time i go I can't resist ordering the falafel. Their Hummus is excellent as well, but I dont think they have kabobs, but they do have shewarma. Its kosher too.

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                  Habayit
                  11921 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                  1. re: ldodb

                    love habayit- my daughter went to pre-school next door and we ate there alot- are they open at night?

                    1. re: ldodb

                      Oh yea, I forgot Habayit. Their falafel usually gets good reviews on chowhound.

                  2. try Sinai Kosher (I believe that's the name), a meat market where they also cook and grill. I've tried all of the above places (except Skaf's) and greatly prefer this place.

                    8680 W Pico Blvd
                    Los Angeles, CA 90035
                    (310) 657-0430

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: epop

                      well- i owe you a big thank you! stopped by to check out sinai /F&yY kosher- a unique combo of kosher butcher and persian restaurant on friday to be sure i wanted to commit- the place was packed on friday for lunch and i gotta say- in addition to the food looking and smelling great- i figured if people are willing to sit directly across from the butcher display cases as they dined, the food had to be really good! there are about 10 tables that make up the restaurant and the other "half" of the joint is the butcher shop. i ordered over the phone this am- very patient with my questions-- and picked the food up , which was ready and packaged and hot promptly at 4:30 as promised-- the place was again full up. all of my guests loved the meal- we got 15 kebabs- mixed- meat, chicken breast and koobideh- ground chicken or beef- all well spiced, tender and juicy- not tough or dry, not too salty. we got 3 kinds of rice (my curiosity got to me): plain, sabzi polo (with dill and lima beans) and zereshk polo (with currants and dried cranberries), also got a side of grilled bell peppers and onions, the kebabs come with whole gilled roma tomatoes (one per kebab) a ton of lavash - and a relish of some sort- great tang to it- as well as a bunch of fresh basil and ground sumac. as usual i over-ordered and everyone went home with doggie bags- i probably could have ordered about 1/2 of what i did for 6 adults and 4 kids and we all had seconds! but even so i spent $106.00, which is not bad at all

                      i would recommend this to anyone for eat in (if you are not faint of heart) or take out- they also have marinated chicken and meats to purchase for your own grilling- which i will try for sure

                      chowhound to the rescue again
                      btw- my daughter's persian friends parents were all curious as to where i ordered from and i will get their opinion on this place, too-seemed really authentic to me and most of the customers were persian...any thoughts?

                      1. re: sgl

                        kind of you. i'm glad it all worked out. they're usually far better than any of the persian restaurants i've been to (though i seem to get in trouble for most of my opinions here). Just don't tell everyone!

                        Good news

                        1. re: epop

                          I'm just glad to hear that there's actually a place in Southern California that you like! I was beginning to wonder . . .:-)

                          1. re: DanaB

                            oh my, that makes me sound cantankerous (you should've heard me in NY, which is also full of disappointing places)!

                            believe me, i love S Cal and its ethnic offerings, most of all. i've had some of my best meals here but not in the places i'd expected to. + still wish for a place on the level of Daniel in LA.

                    2. Our Lebanese dentist turned us on to Byblos on Westwood Bl. The zataar bread is out of this world as are their roka & cheese salad, foul & sambousik appetizers. The kebab platter is tender and delicious. Though we've read mixed CH reviews about Darya on Santa Monica Bl in West L.A., it's been a favorite of ours for 14 years. The eggplant borani appetizer tastes great wrapped in lavosh with a slice of raw onion and a sprinkle of sumac. (The sumac, bread and onion are all included with your meal.) Their stews are wonderful with tah dig (the crispy rice that sticks to the bottom of the steamed rice pan.) We enjoy the fessenjen and gheh meh stews.The naderi kebab is great too. The Darya salad is delicious and their fresh dough (pronounced "doog") complements the meal. Even though they doubled their space a few years back, it's still packed on weekends and the service is superb.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GourMel

                        Byblos is known amongst the lebanese i know for being barely acceptable. they usually won't eat when parties are arranged there.

                        Yes, the darya salad is quite good but their stews are too salty and aren't really
                        excellent representations of what they're supposed to taste like. I haven't had the naderi kabob but think most of their kabobs are okay.

                      2. I was born in Beirut and left for reasons of war and my wonderul cook mother was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran. Darya, Shamshiri, Byblos and Sunnin Lebanese Cafe are all authentic places where we meet our friends and family regularly at and enjoy the flavors. All represent different flavors unique to the restaurant. Ask any Persian and they all have their favorite restaurants. Sadly we don't have nearly as many Lebanese choices but are satisfied at what is offered. I cannot imagine being with close friends or family who would have the bad manners not to eat at a restaurant where they are guests at a party. In any culture that would be and should be construed as poor manners whether the food is good or not good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Avand

                          The people I'm thinking of aren't being rude-- they have drinks at Byblos but then we go to their homes for food rather than eat the food that really doesn't measure up.

                          I think Carousel, Mandaloun and Alcazar are 50x better than the places you mention, for arabic food.
                          As for Persians I know many and some won't eat at these places, happily.

                          You may call them authentic but my standards are much higher. I take food very seriously, love it and cook it. And have traveled all over. The places you mention don't pass certain tests I have for a place. Others will agree with you but I won't. Please accept this not as a criticism but because I also know a few things about this cuisine. I can pretty much guarantee you that your mom's cooking was far better (and fresher) than the places you mention.