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First time for Persian on Westwood Blvd.

holleygolitely Mar 16, 2008 08:31 PM

Where to go for dinner-two couples, and what should we order? Seems like Shamshiri and Javan have the most recommendations. Help us out!

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  1. c
    Cinnamon Mar 16, 2008 08:49 PM

    Shamshiri is wonderful. The lamb fesenjan is particularly great if you like tart/filling dishes. Make sure to get the rose ice cream dessert. Not everybody likes the appetizer I do but I love the panir al sabzi, which is basically fresh herbs and onions, radishes, walnuts, great feta that you wrap up in hot pita bread and eat like a little salad sandwich. Be sure to sprinkle the sumac (red powder) on. Can be filling.

    I also love this place for Sunday early lunch, yummy hot fresh pita bread etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cinnamon
      Frommtron May 8, 2008 05:50 PM

      Fesenjan . . . and lamb! What a bizarre combination!

    2. n
      nosh Mar 16, 2008 09:00 PM

      Shamshiri is my favorite for Persian. Portions there are large -- I hope your group likes to order various dishes and share. I like the shirazi salad to start, cucumber, parsley, onion, tomato, lemon juice -- crispy and refreshing. I'd say get one order of kabobs, beef or lamb. Then a shawarma, sliced meat from the spit -- in my experience the chicken is moister than the beef. Then maybe a beef koobideh, seasoned ground beef shaped on a skewer and grilled. Finally a stew of some sort, maybe something with eggplant. The grilled dishes all come with huge mounds of rice, grilled veggies, and freshly grilled flatbread. If you order four entrees for four people you certainly will be taking some food home. All of this, with a soft drink and tax and tip, and you are probably not much over $20 per person, if that. Please report back.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nosh
        westsidegal Mar 18, 2008 01:24 PM

        also,
        at shamshiri, you can for a nominal additional charge, substitute any of their specialty rices for the basmatic rice.
        personally, i love the adas polo 9rice with lentils, currants, dates, etc) and they will make it for me using brown rice if i request it so.

        1. re: westsidegal
          Frommtron May 8, 2008 05:53 PM

          To be fair, most Persian restaurants allow that, although I haven't seen the brown rice option anywhere. I've never looked I suppose bit I'd bet Shamshiri is one of the few to offer that.

      2. b
        BIM Mar 16, 2008 09:06 PM

        Another vote for shamshiri - we have actually catered a party from there. You can get an appetizer-size portion of several different stews with crispy rice - ask about it. It's a great way to sample the many and varied stews which are exotic and delicious. A skewer of lamb chops and Bob's-your-uncle!

        1. J.L. Mar 16, 2008 09:38 PM

          My vote goes to:
          1. Flame
          2 (tie). Shaherzad
          2 (tie). Shamshiri
          3 (tie). Javan - OK it's actually on Santa Monica Blvd, but is close-by
          3 (tie). Baran
          4. Canary
          5. Darya - Also on SM Blvd., just west of Bundy

          1 Reply
          1. re: J.L.
            m
            mrsjoujou Mar 17, 2008 11:54 AM

            We ate at Flame last week and it was not good at all. The tah dig with ghymeh was the worst ever. The tah dig was too thick and the ghymeh was runny and tasteless. The koobideh was OK and barg was pretty bad. Even their eggplant appetizer was greasy. The only good thing about Flame was their bread. What a waste of money. I prefer Shaherzad's food any day, although I have not been there for a while.

          2. ronnie_gaucho Mar 18, 2008 10:11 AM

            If you want an authentic experience at a resturant at a true Persian place that doesn't cater to Americans (read: serves Hummus :barf:), I would skip Shamshiri and head to Shaherzad ASAP

            1. Vince S Mar 18, 2008 10:53 AM

              Shamshiri is actually quite horrible. The lack of seasoning in their meat. Aren't they a little far from being authentic?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Vince S
                J.L. Mar 18, 2008 11:13 AM

                Shamshiri seems to be hit-or-miss. I've had really kebabs & khoobideh & barg during my visits. I guess "your mileage may vary" with Shamshiri, so to speak.

                1. re: Vince S
                  w
                  will47 Mar 25, 2008 04:48 PM

                  I don't know, but one of my friends who lived in the area while growing up (and is Persian-American, either born there or first generation) likes Shamshiri. I'm vegetarian so I couldn't eat much at Flame (they cook their meats in the stews, rather than adding them later), but most people I've talked to who have eaten at both seem to like Shamshiri better. Never tried Shaherzad though.

                  1. re: Vince S
                    hrhboo May 8, 2008 06:07 PM

                    What's inauthentic about Shamshiri? Aside from the fact that they serve hummus, the rest of the food is as authentic as any of the others mentioned here.

                  2. g
                    grubtrotters May 8, 2008 05:12 PM

                    We ate at Flame on Monday. We found it good, but not great. The beef koobideh was the best of the four dishes we tried. Here's our full take:

                    http://grubtrotters.com/2008/05/08/he...

                    1. Frommtron May 8, 2008 05:48 PM

                      I'd go with Javan over Shamshiri if only because I've had some serious misses at Shamshiri while I've found Javan is very consistent. I also prefer the flavor of most of Javan's stews over Shamshiri's and I tend to order rices and stews over kabobs. Really, the only time I'd go with Shamshiri over Javan would be if I wanted vegetarian persian food. They have a lot of options at Shamshiri.

                      Darya has been quite good the few times I've tried it, too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Frommtron
                        Foodandwine May 13, 2008 10:36 AM

                        I am a Fan of Shaherzad. Typically I am there for lunch, great fresh baked bread and the kabobs are just fine for me. The fish is very tasty..

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