One night in Westwood/What can't I miss?
- Randy Salenfriend Mar 6, 2002 01:59 PM
Hello LA hounds. Will be down your way in a couple of weeks for a brief meeting on Monday morning-flying in Sunday afternoon. I will be staying at the Doubletree Westwood, 10740 Wilshire Boulevard. Where should I go in this neighborhood for my one night's dinner? All cuisines considered, no exclusions. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Chow.
Sunin is the favorite of me and the monkeyboyfriend. We walk there now that we live in the neighborhood. I always mean to try the highly recommended mezze, but invariably I cave and order the Shish Tawook sandwich, which is chunks of broiled chicken, pickled beets, some other greens, and the best damn garlic sauce in the whole world, all wrapped in flatbread. I've never been to Zankou Chicken, but I don't feel that I need to, what with Sunin the gem nearby. (Also, the monkeyboyfriend doesn't like to travel far. He hates looking for parking.) It is, however, extremely casual. (The damned fools as Zagat say to get it to go, but I love the homey atmosphere, listening the Lebanese pop on the stereo, watching the families. What frickin' snobs.) When the mbf and I first started dating, we went to Sunin and sat at the counter. As we waited for our food, the proprietress of the restaurant began to carve A WHOLE LAMB right in front of us. I think it was for a wedding. I turned a bit green, but the food is so wonderful, it's never bothered me. (Incidentally, I've never seen a repeat performance of the lamb-incident.)
Our other favorite neighborhood Middle Eastern joint is Shamshiri (sp?), which we love for its massive and delicious servings of Persian kabobs. They also make great stews served with the crunchy cooked rice that ahderes to the bottom of the cooking pot. Unfortunately, they are now closed for rennovations (probably the first since 1978). This is another family restaurant that is more dressed up than Sunin (and a lot bigger), but they're like apples and oranges...or hummus and babaghanouj.
I agree. Sunnin is great...love their fatoush salad. If you're gonna do Persian, Shahrzad Flame is definitely much better than Shamshiri...the homemade flat bread is to die for, plain or w/butter and fresh onions. Their kabobs are also tastier and fresher than Shamshiri. The crunchy rice thing is called "Tahdeegh". Their stews are also more flavorful!!!
Thanks for the suggestion. Myself and the monkeyboyfriend liked Shamshiri b/c it is very close (walkable) and also...break out the sappy music...we had out first date there, after a little trip to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Four plus years later, the mbf and I are still together. Was it the restaurant, or the mbf, that kept me coming back for more? I'm almost afraid to find out!
Ok MG, this is the early leader in the clubhouse for true Chowhound deliciousness and something different from the everyday. Thanks to all for your thoughtful suggestions but as Samo correctly notes at the top of this page, there is little reason for a San Franciscan to do Italian, French, Thai etc. Not that I didn't consider them however. Two final questions: Any place else that merits consideration and what kind of monkey?
On the far more casual side: Sunnin is a fantastic Lebanese place on Westwood Blvd., just North of Santa Monica Blvd.
Shamshiri and Sherzhad are good, and are in the heart of "Little Tehran" (Westwood Blvd. between Wilshire and Pico).
Being somewhat of a conaisseur of Persian food in the area, I would recommend the two places that most Persians go to more often than Shamshiri and Sherzhad, which look fancier, but I don't think are superior in quality.
The first is Javan
11500 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025
It offers a nice atmosphere with very good staff. I would definately go for tadeegh (crispy rice), dookh (salty yogurt drink), juje kabob, and kafke bodom'joon. It's a sort of an eggplant dish that is sweet and delicious and goes great to dip pita in as an appetizer.
Darya Restaurant Santa Monica
12130 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Darya is the other Persian restaurant that local Persians debate about. It's in a small little place nearby the huge Blockbuster Video, and chances are, you wouldn't know about it otherwise. Go for the same things that I mentioned above, and also the qormeh sabzi (a herb stew type thing, with some meat in it, goes great with "polo" [rice])
I'd recommend those. Javan wins on atmosphere, though. Usually we get take-out from Darya.
If you want to stay in the village, and this is more for lunch than dinner, I'd suggest Mongols, for absolutely fantastic Mongolian BBQ.
1064 Gayley Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024