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Best Persian Restaurant in Westwood

jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 01:25 PM

I would appreciate hearing your opinions as to which you think is the best Persian restaurant in Westwood. I'd like to know about the quality of food, the service, the ambiance, the prices and whether or not it would appeal to a family of a man of 83, a woman of 50, and two sophisticated and "with it" daughters of 26 and 22. Thank you.

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  1. westsidegal RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 01:42 PM

    the answer to your question depends on what you will be ordering. there are several terrific persian restaurants in westwood. each one, has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

    2 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal
      jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 02:16 PM

      OOps! I have no idea what my guests will be ordering. I love bastilla and couldcus. I will most likely get a lamb dish, and we'll probably order so0me kind of kabob. Beyond that, I know very little.

      1. re: westsidegal
        jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 02:25 PM

        Hi, Westsidegal: Please se my more detailed response to epop. Thanks.

      2. e
        epop RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 01:59 PM

        None of the Persian restaurants is all that great (and I love Persian food), but if you
        describe the type of Persian food you're looking for perhaps I can help guide you towards the decent...

        20 Replies
        1. re: epop
          jwrites4u RE: epop Jun 10, 2009 02:23 PM

          I appreciate your response. I know very little about "types" of Persian food. As I said above, I love bastilla and couscous. I love lamb and kabobs. But I'd like to go deeper and experience something that's truly authentic; something that I wouldn't have any idea of ordering had not someone (who knows) suggestied that I order it....and why. Does that help?

          1. re: epop
            Porthos RE: epop Jun 10, 2009 02:23 PM

            Really? I'm a big fan of the ghormeh sabzi and bamieh with lamb neck (Mondays & Fridays only) at Shamshiri Grill.

            But I have heard that Javan is better...

            1. re: Porthos
              jwrites4u RE: Porthos Jun 10, 2009 02:37 PM

              Both dishes sound excitingly different. Can you give me some idea of why you like them? How about the ambiance, service, and prices at Shamshiri Grill?

              1. re: jwrites4u
                Servorg RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 02:40 PM

                I have always considered bastilla to be Moroccan. Is this a Persian dish?

                1. re: Servorg
                  jwrites4u RE: Servorg Jun 10, 2009 02:46 PM

                  I could be confusing them. I thought that the restaurant on Westwood Boulevard that I once went to called itself both. But since I can't remember its name, I'm probably wrong. Thanks for setting me straight.

                  1. re: jwrites4u
                    sablouwho RE: jwrites4u Jun 12, 2009 09:42 AM

                    I believe that the restaurant you are thinking of is Koutoubia and the adjacent bar Cafe Momo. It's a Moroccan place that had delicious bastilla and also serves couscous. Personally I like this place, LOVE their bastilla, but I'm not very acquainted w/Morrocan food so I'm no expert in this type of cuisine.

                2. re: jwrites4u
                  afermich RE: jwrites4u Aug 19, 2009 08:46 PM

                  I went to Samshi about a year ago and was truly disappointed with their food. I prefer Flame ( Shole) and I am planning to try Shahrzad this Sunday. My favorite is Lam Kebob ( kobide) , Baghali Polo ( rice with broad beans) and lamb shank. I won't try Ghormeh Sabazi which is an authentic food and yummiy, if you are trying Persian foods for the first time. Def, try it after your 4th or 5th visit.

                  1. re: afermich
                    J.L. RE: afermich Aug 20, 2009 02:52 AM

                    If you're trying Shaherzad for the first time, get their estamboli polo and their complimentary bread - both are highlights.

                3. re: Porthos
                  westsidegal RE: Porthos Jun 10, 2009 07:14 PM

                  i agree about the ghormeh sabzi at shamshiri grill, i am completely stuck on it.
                  also, i really like the adas polo they serve (it even tastes delicious when they make it with brown rice which they will do if you so request).
                  shamshiri serves a homemade flat bread that i love that they bake in an oven in the corner of the restaurant.

                  for shirazi salad, though, the attari sandwich shop up the street is clearly superior.
                  attari also wins in the dept. of asch (soup), imho. too bad attari is not open for dinner.

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 07:21 PM

                    Thanks again, Westsidegal. Can you tell me something about the ambiance? When you walk in, does it feel as if you're in a slightly superior coffee shop or a warm intimte get-away? I think that, having heard from so many of you today, there's no question in my mind that the Shamshiri Grill is where we'll go. This family is very special to me, I have sort of taken over the role of their "Grandpa", and I really want this to be a special evening for them. Thanks, again. Jeff

                    1. re: jwrites4u
                      westsidegal RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 07:32 PM

                      at lunch time, shamshiri is filled with UCLA administrator/professor types because their lunch special menu is one of the best deals in town for really good food.

                      at dinner, the place is often filled with persian families. the ambiance is that of a solid restaurant; it is not intimate nor is it a coffee shop. the table tops are black granite. the chairs are wood. the ambiance will not blow anyone away nor will it repulse anyone. the service ranges from workmanlike to spotty, so do not expect anyone to be fawning over you.

                      the portions they serve are large and you will have enough to share food with each other and still be able to take food home. if you try to split an entree between adults they will get testy, so just plan on ordering an entree for each adult. if you order their appetizer combination plate (around $13 iirc) you will have enough in the way of appetizers to satisfy at least 5 people.

                      i'm also a fan of their persian tea.

                      1. re: westsidegal
                        jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 07:56 PM

                        Bless you, westsidegal.....Jeff

                        1. re: jwrites4u
                          westsidegal RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 08:18 PM

                          you are welcome.
                          also, for a small additional fee, they will allow you to substitute any of their specialty rices for the basmati/saffron rice that they normally serve with their entrees. all the rice portions are generous too.

                          normally, i substitute their adas polo (which i request that they make with brown rice) for the white rice. i have often brought this brown rice adas polo to pot luck parties and have had almost universal raves about it. this dish is a rice dish made with lentils, raisons, currents, and dates.

                          1. re: westsidegal
                            Porthos RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 08:40 PM

                            Yes, I second the adas polo. I get it with white rice and it's also absolutely delicious.

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 08:57 PM

                              MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm Jeff

                        2. re: jwrites4u
                          afermich RE: jwrites4u Aug 19, 2009 08:47 PM

                          If you are trying to impress someone, try Javaan in Santa Monica...

                      2. re: Porthos
                        epop RE: Porthos Jun 10, 2009 08:33 PM

                        Bravo, Porthos, those are the better dishes in Westwood. They can be a bit fatty. Unfortunately, this is a case where these stews are made best in people's homes. Far better than any of the restaurants. Darya actually makes a pretty good Lubia pollo, a string bean dish. But really I object to all these places, none are as good as the better caterers and are pale comparisons of the food in people's homes... With sushi the chefs are better than anyone at home. The opposite is the case with Persian food. And the best chefs are women but you won't find a woman in any of the places mentioned, except Flame, I believe.
                        Attari comes closer to proper Persian cooking.

                        Jwrites 4u could have those. Prices are reasonable. Persians don't know what couscous and bastilla are. Morocco is probably closer to NYC than Iran...

                        1. re: epop
                          jwrites4u RE: epop Jun 10, 2009 08:59 PM

                          With all of you helping me, I feel as if I know the place. The only thing I have to stay away from are vegetables. Everything else sounds incredibly delicious! Deepest thanks. Jeff

                          1. re: jwrites4u
                            westsidegal RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 09:17 PM

                            eggplant is a vegetable, be aware that one of the dips on the appetizer platter is made with eggplant.
                            if you consider legumes to be vegetables as well, then be aware that the hummus on the appetizer platter is made with garbanzo beans.
                            the stew that we've mentioned earlier in the thread, gourmeh sabzi, is made with spinach.
                            the skewered dishes are served with a side of skewered onions and peppers and tomatoes that you can just leave on the side of your plate

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              jwrites4u RE: westsidegal Jun 10, 2009 09:20 PM

                              Thanks, westsidegal. I'll be careful and I truly appreciate your help....Jeff

                    2. Ciao Bob RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 02:51 PM

                      I believe it is west la, but my money is on Darya for best Persian.
                      Santa Monica Blvd.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Ciao Bob
                        jwrites4u RE: Ciao Bob Jun 10, 2009 02:58 PM

                        Thanks, Ciao Bob. Can you tell me something about Darya and why you prefer it?

                        1. re: jwrites4u
                          Ciao Bob RE: jwrites4u Jun 11, 2009 08:39 AM

                          It's been a while since I made the rounds but, in the past, I have found the kebabs comparable at most of the places mentioned in this thread but the stews (ghormeh sabzi/gheimeh bademjoon) better at Darya.

                        2. re: Ciao Bob
                          a_and_w RE: Ciao Bob Aug 20, 2009 09:55 AM

                          I really didn't like Darya the one time I tried it. Service was rude, veggies were wilted, and the both the fesenjan and kashk o bademhan were not as tasty as Java, imo.

                        3. g
                          ghozimoto RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 03:53 PM

                          Pastilla and cous cous are both morrocan and not persian. That being said, i prefer javan's over darya (darya seems more stuffy). Standard persian food, lots of grilled meats and fish, rice, tadij with accompanying stews. A newer looking restaurant should appeal to the two youngins, the place is clean and not that loud which should appeal to the man of 83.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: ghozimoto
                            jwrites4u RE: ghozimoto Jun 10, 2009 04:03 PM

                            Many thanks, ghozimoto. How would you compare Javan with Shamshiri Grille? What would you recommend ordering at Javan? I'd really like to experience something other than the "normal" dishes. How do the two compare in cuisine, service, ambiance and price?

                            1. re: jwrites4u
                              noshie RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 06:20 PM

                              I like Shamshiri better than Javan.

                              1. re: noshie
                                jwrites4u RE: noshie Jun 10, 2009 06:26 PM

                                Please tell me why.

                                1. re: jwrites4u
                                  noshie RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 06:48 PM

                                  The bread at Shamshiri can be really good when served warm. The kebabs are all great, lamb, chicken. I like their grilled lamb chops. You can also ask for no rice (although a great big fluffy pile is good, just not so dietetic) and get extra of the shamshiri salad (tomato, cucumber, parsley, lemon juice). I also have enjoyed their tachin special (crusty rice with chicken), and I like ther chicken with barberries in rice. Also like all of their soups, nice app platter that comes in these red lettuce cups if I recall (selection of hummus, potato salad, etc)

                                  I like their Persian iced tea too. Basically, very solid place.

                                  Javan, I was not so wild about, I had that ground walnut sauce dish. The bread I don't even recall, its been awhile, I always go to Shamshiri.

                                  1. re: noshie
                                    jwrites4u RE: noshie Jun 10, 2009 07:24 PM

                                    Thanks, Noshie. You have helped me enormously. I want this to be a special evening for this family. I have sort of taken over as their Grandpa, and I want them to have a wonderful evening. Thanks again. Jeff

                                    1. re: jwrites4u
                                      noshie RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 07:31 PM

                                      You might want to try and be seated in the glassed in area closest to the street as it is less loud than the main room. They have a nice selection of wines there as well. Persian desserts there are nice too, I think I have had the Bamieh, maybe the Faloodeh too? Persian ice cream places to be found around there as well.

                                      1. re: noshie
                                        jwrites4u RE: noshie Jun 10, 2009 07:58 PM

                                        Terrific, noshie. Do you think that parking will be a problem on a Saturday night? I can't walk very far. Nor can I stand waiting very long. I'll make the reservation for the four of us tomorrow for Saturday evening, July 11. Thanks, again. Jeff

                                        1. re: jwrites4u
                                          noshie RE: jwrites4u Jun 11, 2009 08:21 AM

                                          Parking around there can be difficult. You should look for street parking either on Westwood Boulevard, or the residential streets just east of there. I have usually found parking on Westwood Boulevard, but sometimes it takes time. Might be best if you are dropped off in front first, just in case. I am usually there mid-week, not sure how crowded on weekends, but it might be so, again, you might want to be dropped off in front. Also, if you are reserving, again, I would ask for a table in the glassed in room closest to the street so its not as loud.

                                          1. re: noshie
                                            Servorg RE: noshie Jun 11, 2009 08:25 AM

                                            noshie, with regard to residential parking east of Shamshiri; is that one of those "neighborhood permit parking only" areas that there are so many of near that location?

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              noshie RE: Servorg Jun 11, 2009 08:38 AM

                                              You know, I just recently parked there on the street directly behind Shamshiri on a weekday night. I did not get a ticket, but maybe I just did not see any sign? That's a good point.

                                              Jeff, if you go, keep an eye out for restricted parking areas.

                                              1. re: noshie
                                                Servorg RE: noshie Jun 11, 2009 08:43 AM

                                                I can't tell you the number of tickets I see going on cars around the corner from Don Antonio on Pico (just west of Barrington/east of Bundy) for that very reason. They give them out like candy on Halloween, and with the State of California and all it's municipalities being broke you can bet that the ferocity of enforcement will only be picking up.

                                                To paraphrase the "most interesting man in the world" - Park safely my friend!

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  ChinoWayne RE: Servorg Jun 11, 2009 03:52 PM

                                                  Our one and only visit to Shamshiri was on a Saturday, so we found a dental office's parking lot a couple of doors down that was empty, just bring blocks for your wheels, those lots drop off in the back. ;-)

                                                  1. re: ChinoWayne
                                                    jwrites4u RE: ChinoWayne Jun 11, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                    Where can I get a good deal on blocks? Thanks, ChinoWayne

                                                    1. re: ChinoWayne
                                                      Servorg RE: ChinoWayne Jun 11, 2009 05:17 PM

                                                      Just look out that the Dentist doesn't have an after hours towing company that does bad car "extractions." ;-D>

                                      2. re: noshie
                                        a_and_w RE: noshie Aug 20, 2009 09:56 AM

                                        I like Shamshiri, but I prefer the stews at Javan.

                              2. Winemastermind RE: jwrites4u Jun 10, 2009 05:24 PM

                                What is the new restaurant going in on NW corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Robertson in WeHo? Anybody know the name? It is next to Jamba Juice.

                                1. b
                                  bsquared2 RE: jwrites4u Jun 11, 2009 08:47 PM

                                  I was reading an article in the NYT about a restaurant called Attar (or something like that) that had a tongue sandwich that sounded delicious. I tried to find the article online but couldn't find it. Anybody have any idea. Said it was on a small street off of Westwood Blvd.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: bsquared2
                                    J.L. RE: bsquared2 Jun 11, 2009 09:11 PM

                                    Attari Sandwich Shop
                                    (310) 441-5488
                                    1388 Westwood Blvd
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                    1. re: J.L.
                                      westsidegal RE: J.L. Jun 11, 2009 09:43 PM

                                      the building's address is on westwood blvd. the entrance to the shop is on wilkins, around the corner.

                                      1. re: J.L.
                                        bsquared2 RE: J.L. Jun 11, 2009 10:24 PM

                                        I'm there. I think I remember the article saying that they make a sandwich on a baguette that is similar to a Vietnamese Banh Mi. A Tongue Banh Mi? I'm so there.

                                        1. re: bsquared2
                                          westsidegal RE: bsquared2 Jun 12, 2009 11:30 AM

                                          when you go, be sure to get their shirazi salad and their asch as well.

                                      2. re: bsquared2
                                        beezees RE: bsquared2 Jun 12, 2009 08:47 PM

                                        It's around the corner from Border's and across the street from the 7-11. I like their patio dining, even during lunch on Fridays, when it is incredibly crowded. I prefer the Ash to the sandwiches, however. Last time I tried one of their sandwiches, the bread was stale. Very disappointing.

                                        1. re: beezees
                                          a_and_w RE: beezees Aug 20, 2009 09:57 AM

                                          Love that Ash. Bummer about the sandwich bread -- I've never had a stale loaf.

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