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Best Persian Restaurant in Westwood

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. 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

      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

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

      2. 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

          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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: Servorg

                  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

                    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

                  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

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

                3. re: Porthos

                  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

                    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

                      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: jwrites4u

                          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

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

                        2. re: jwrites4u

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

                      1. re: Porthos

                        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

                          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

                            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

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

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Ciao Bob

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

                        1. re: jwrites4u

                          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

                          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. 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

                            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

                              I like Shamshiri better than Javan.

                                1. re: jwrites4u

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                                    1. re: ChinoWayne

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

                                      2. re: noshie

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

                              1. 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.