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Attari Sandwiches - hidden Persian treasure

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  • Low End Theory Aug 22, 2004 08:22 PM
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Dear Chowhounds,

My friend's Persian girlfriend turned us on to Attari Sandwiches, a hard-to-find lunch spot with sandwiches fit to provoke a teenage riot. The address is 1388 Westwood, but it's actually in a nook on Wilkins around the corner from a French place named Soleil. One the day we went it was packed with wealthy looking Persians in various states of repleteness, belying the low-end prices.

Some of the sandwiches on offer, made on banh mi sized baguette with good tomatoes (menu is mostly in transliterated Persian so ask):
- Tongue. Melting texture and delicious beefy flavour.
- Kotlet/cutlet. Chicken or beef, fried in a falafel-tasting batter. Excellent.
- Mayonnaisey chicken salad.
- Kuku, the Persian veg kugel made with egg and greens including parsley I think. Really good.
- Chicken (boring, for white-meat orderers only).
- Sausage. Didn't try it, probably a good choice.

I didn't try the Persian soup ash-e (beans, yoghurt and mint garnish) but am told it is at the grandmotherly level.

Several side dishes that I didn't recognize on other tables, including a haleem-looking meat paste. Desserts including the teeth-hurting honey confections zooloobia and bamieh. Canadian carbonated doogh in the cooler plus superior minted Shemshad brand. A casual cafe-style alternative to the local kebab palaces.

Happy eating,

Low End Theory

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  1. Sounds yummy...will have to try this! Thanks.

    1. Low End Theory strikes again! This afternoon I dropped in on this place, hidden in plain sight right there just off Westwood Blvd., around the corner from Borders. As L.E.T. notes, it is hard to find, tucked inside a courtyard on the Wilkins side of the building with no street signage that I could see (at least not in English) anywhere on either street.

      Despite the odd hour, the place was packed, both inside and in the cute little courtyard with a birdbath in the center. I had the kuku sandwich (the bread was fine and the egg-based filling is as green as a golf course and explodes with herbal taste), the very good bottle minty Shemshad dough (no homemade dough available as far as I could see) and one of those teeth-hurting concoctions, a rice-pudding-custard-rose-saffron creation that was terrific but was too much for li'l ol' me by myself (but I ate it all anyway).

      At other tables most of the people seemed to be eating little bowls of soup or stew, or sipping sweet hot tea with the sweets. I heard almost no English spoken during the hour I was there, but the staff were very helpful and nice despite my obvious outsider status. The menu is rather limited (more so, for example, than the Canary Chicken House) and most dishes come in plastic containers, but what they do have all looked and smelled delightful.

      By the way, a longer name for this place seems to be Attari Patough Sandwich, and the LA Public Health website lists it under "Patough," address 1388 Westwood Blvd 103--and a 99 rating, for those who care about such things.

      1. Yes, I read the La Weekly review about this place and decided to check it out.
        Today was my first time at Attari, and I was less than impressed. I ordered three sandwiches: the greens and potato kuku , and the beef kotlet.

        All three sandwiches were lacking in flavor-- not horrible, but just whatever. The bread
        wasn't great, either. If I ever go there again, I'll definitely stay away from the sandwiches (even though the kuku sandwich was recommended in the LA Weekly review).

        Maybe the quality of the food has changed since the last posts?

        I came to Attari with great expectations, but was sadly disappointed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bolonpinpon

          I used to frequent Attari...their soup is awesome! I actually had a sandwich from Orchid Bakery Saturday...a kuku sandwich it was called...vegetarian.. same as the one Attari sells, but far better. the sandwich itself was really huge and for $6.95 not just a bargain, it was delicious!

          1. re: coco puff

            Orchid Bakery (south of SM on West side of Westwood) is an undiscovered gem - great cakes, sorbet and terrific sandwiches. The owners are actually Armenian Persian and they make great effort with each customer.