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is Javan any good?

t
tom Oct 19, 2004 01:25 PM

the commercials for Javan make the food look great (when isn't this so). was wondering if anyone's been & what they thought.

  1. s
    sultan malik Oct 19, 2004 02:01 PM

    I believe that it is hands down the best persian cuisine in the Westside. Better than Shamshiri, better than Sharzahd, better than Darya. Their service is better and their food is better. Like every other Persian restaurant though, they give you a mountain of rice, ask for half rice and half salad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sultan malik
      s
      smiling ed Oct 19, 2004 02:24 PM

      yes checkout the tachin a kind of rice pie with a crusty crust and filled with chicken.

    2. h
      hiyamayama Oct 20, 2004 05:46 PM

      I agree with the "best in the Westide" assessment and it's not very expensive. I am a fan of their lubia polo. You get one beef kabob, and a seasoned rice dish that has green beans and bits of filet mixed in.

      Even their bar is cheap - I think it was $6 for a Grey Goose on the rocks.

      hiyamayama

      1. s
        sourena Aug 20, 2006 07:42 AM

        Javan is good. In my opinion its Kababs are even better than Shahrzad. But maybe the best food there is its Celery stew with rice. Fesenjan is good too but Shahrzad's is better on that.

        1. l
          lawrence Aug 20, 2006 09:06 AM

          i'm no expert in persian cuisine, but javan's is consistent in food quality from visit to visit. i used to live a few blocks away and dropped by this place once every couple of weeks. prices will range from $8-15/entree and the service is polite and unintrusive. value factor is also upped considering the "white table cloth" decor and manners. the only downside is the white electric baby grand piano complete with dorky pianist, which in my opinion is quite hokey. but that's just my opinion. =)

          here were my "standards" when dining at javan's:

          zereshk polo - seasoned baked dark meat chicken served with sweet and sour currant-saffron basmati rice (sometimes the chicken can be overstewed though. the rice is a pleasant departure from the usual savory flavor)

          marinated white fish kabob with basmati rice (well seasoned and cooked white fish (not sure what kind). just be careful of the small bones lurking in the chunks.)

          fesenjan - sauteed walnuts in pomengranate sauce, served with chicken and side of basmati rice (my favorite, favorite, favorite! that pomegranate sauce is very different from what my palate is accustomed to. more of a stew. unfortunately, it's only available on certain days - and i always seemed to come on the wrong day.)

          bademjan - fried and cooked eggplant with lamb shank in tomato sauce and side of basmati rice (this was my standby. the lamb shank is so tender and succulent and when combined with the eggplant stew... yum.)

          javan's kebobs are good but they tend to leave my mouth dry since they don't have an accompanying sauce, just a huge plate of fragrant rice. i do enjoy the unleavened bread they serve at the beginning. i have no idea if i'm doing it right, but i'll spread some butter on it and then take a piece of raw, white onion and wrap it all up and bite of pieces. creamy, starchy, and pungent onion all in one. definitely not for the meek.

          i recommend you go and check it out. they're open late on weekdays and it's always full of persian families that appear to be enjoying themselves. just pray the lounge pianist isn't in full swing when you arrive... =)

          http://www.javanrestaurant.com/home-h...

          1. c
            compucook Aug 20, 2006 03:03 PM

            Ditto the above poster. We like it very much. DH loves the fesenjan here. Much more than at Shamashiri. I do the chicken kabob ususally and always a side of tadiq with the celery stew on top. Yum!

            1. e
              epop Aug 20, 2006 08:59 PM

              The Persians I know won't eat in these places, for the record. Unfortunately I think
              they need to represent this cuisine much better...

              4 Replies
              1. re: epop
                Will Owen Aug 20, 2006 09:09 PM

                Also for the record, on the night we were there, most of the clientele seemed to be Persian.

                We loved all of our food, the service was attentive and friendly, and it was all very reasonably priced. As for the atmosphere, welllll...imagine a very weird cross between a posh cocktail lounge (with singing pianist) and an upscale funeral parlor.

                1. re: Will Owen
                  e
                  epop Aug 20, 2006 10:18 PM

                  you're right, for the record.
                  but just as americans fill mcdonald's
                  (and javan is definitely better than that) it can't simply be judged with that criterion.
                  it is a fine place but let's just say it could be soooo much better, which persian food is.
                  anyone that has been to one of their weddings or homes can attest to this.

                  thx for the funny atmosphere description. life can be ever so surreal

                  1. re: epop
                    l
                    lawrence Aug 21, 2006 12:12 AM

                    just curious epop, what qualities/characteristics would make for better persian food (vs what's served at javan's) and can you find it in an LA restaurant for around the same price point? or is it more a home-cooked quality thing?

                    1. re: lawrence
                      e
                      epop Aug 21, 2006 07:56 PM

                      this cooking requires a special treatment, it is time-consuming. for ex., many persians i know simply won't eat ground meat out at a restaurant b/c the quality of meat is usually the cheapest. besides the obvious, it is a whole level of aesthetics of experience that none of the places mentioned carry out. usually it is the women in this culture that can cook, first off. yet there aren't women in the kitchens of persian restaurants.
                      try byblos in montreal. the owner makes 25 types of jam and every day makes new stews and old special dishes from her village, including wild herbs and vegetables. so subtle and special.

                      you won't find this in LA, yet. hopefully one day. it is a big topic.

                      but as for finding a great kebab, pure and simple, i think even there
                      javan is only adequate. not for me but it is ok. Raffi too is highly overrated, imho. they crank out the food and the rice isn't cooked properly.

                      "don't believe the hype"-- an old song, but true. it is like all the sushi discussions on the board. it takes time to know how to discern.

              2. westsidegal Aug 20, 2006 10:31 PM

                if you have any vegetarians in your party, shamshiri is the better choice.
                shamshiri has a large vegetarian section of their menu, whereas javan does not.

                1. d
                  Dogbite Williams Aug 21, 2006 04:08 AM

                  I love Javan. I have eaten there many times and I've never been disappointed. I like the shirin polo (chicken stew and rice pumped up with sliced almonds and orange zest), the zereshk polo and the fesenjan. I also like the salad combo - their stuffed grape leaves are the best I've ever had.

                  1. amandine Aug 21, 2006 05:09 AM

                    I second the "Persians don't really go to Javan." The best chelokebab in L.A. is at Raffi's Kabob in Glendale (near Brand and Broadway)... Persians from the Westside and the Valley will make the trip for chelokebab at Raffi's.

                    Keep in mind that they don't serve khoresh or different varieties of polow... a plus because that means they focus on the chelokebab instead. Everyone I bring there, Persian and non-Persian, love it. I won't go anywhere else for Persian food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: amandine
                      e
                      epop Aug 21, 2006 07:58 PM

                      I think Raffi's has slipped in quality, over time. Yes, it is true, people travel to glendale for it, but the folks I know won't do it too often any more, disappointed by recent visits.

                      We had a party there recently and left very disappointed by the quality of their kebabs as well as how poorly they made the rice, if one holds high standards. i don't mean that rudely.

                    2. e
                      Ernie Aug 21, 2006 08:04 PM

                      The Persian friends I know in Glendale don't care much for Raffi's but do like the Shamshiri there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ernie
                        e
                        epop Aug 22, 2006 04:11 PM

                        good to know. strange though, as Shamshiri in westwood was great 20 yrs ago + isn't now, nor was their hollywood location (don't know if it is still there).

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