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Amoo's in Mclean: From the Folks who Left Rose Kabob

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There's been some talk on donrockwell.com about this Persian place in Mclean which used to have the same menu as Shamshiry, a sister restaurant. It is now owned by the family that ran (but has sold) Rose Kabob in Vienna.

Rose Kabob was maybe the best Persian restaurant in the DC area, and now that is probably true of Amoo's. It is stellar.

For only $10, the tadig topped with your choice of stew (get the geymeh) is a Top 5 all-DC bargain. The mast-o-mousir yogurt is exceptional, so don't forget about that.

Finally, Mclean has a terrific restaurant.

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  1. There were good reviews on CH about Amoo's earlier (a few months ago). From those, it was on my list. I pass by it nearly every day, but around 4pm which isn't the right time to stop for me. I'd be interested to hear from someone who went there before to hear about any changes - good or bad.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      I was there back when it opened. It was mostly kaobbos and rice, and not very good. Amoo's now is more a full menu with Persian stews. It's a more accomplished kitchen.

      1. re: Steve

        What Steve said. I went in a few times about 5-6 years ago, and it was pretty mediocre.

        What I had last week was stunning - puts Shamshiry in the dust, and probably better than my usual spot, Yekta (though Yekta being 5 minutes from me will probably still get my business more often.)


        1. re: DanielK

          It's been mentioned a number of times in the past 12 months and 5 years, including a nod from Joe H.

          Here's the post from Alkapal that got me interested in stopping by there: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7205...

          So, I can't say, but I remember Amoo's being mentioned more than the one time above as being chow worthy and more than regular kabobs.

          It sounds like both Steve and Daniel went prior to 2009, and so maybe the change happened after those visits.

          1. re: DanielK

            Yekta is good spot to know about, but Amoo's hits on more cylinders.

            1. re: Steve

              Absolutely agree, Steve. There are only a few specialties beyond kabobs at Yekta, and they have been hit-or-miss to me.

              However, the Cornish Game Hen kabob at Yekta is probably the finest kabob I have ever eaten.

              1. re: DanielK

                I haven't had Yekta's Cornish Game Hen kabob, but I adore Amoo's version. Cooking meat on the bone keeps it more moist. If you're considering a chicken kebob, try the Cornish Hen version. It's much, much better.

                Among the stews, the two stand-outs are Gormeh and Geymeh. (I haven't had the Geymeh variation with the whole eggplant.) Gargantuan portions.

      2. When I moved to the area about a year and a half ago, I sampled all of the Persian restaurants that get raves on Chowhound in NoVa. In my opinion, Amoo's has the very best chicken kabobs around, and is certainly in competition for the best on a variety of lamb dishes and on their stews. As Steve said, the Mast-o-mousir is very nice. The only fault I can find is the bread- they've tried a few different versions over the past year, but I'm very unhappy with the current iteration- somewhat dry and tasteless. Despite that, the food is so good, I go there fairly often.

        1. amoo's has absolutely the best fish dish and best lamb dish i've ever eaten.

          i've posted about them before, but they are:

          saffron and truffle oil marinated sea bass
          and double lamb chops marinated in saffron and herbs and served with a magnificent pilaf studded with nuts and fruit. AWESOME.

          the double lamb chops are enough for two people for dinner. still a bargain at $27.

          sebastian is your "go to" man at amoo -- the one who is helping create the specials on the menu.

          5 Replies
            1. re: Steve

              yes, but the sea bass is a "regular" special.

              i believe that every time we've had lamb chops, they were a "special" (i think).

              this last time, the double new zealand lamb chops were definitely a special. i'd call and find out when they are offering this next and make a special trip.

              photo is to follow:

                1. re: alkapal

                  Wow, those look fantastic. I will have to call in advance.

                  1. re: Steve

                    Sebastian actively manages Amoo's facebook page, so you can monitor specials there (and probably make requests, too!)

          1. Just wanted to pile on the love for this place.

            We had a friend visiting from out of town, and when I asked him what was missing in his town (Portland, OR), he said "Nothing." I love a challenge!

            I thought about Ethiopian, but figured the best are Downtown, and with him staying in Tysons and me working there, I was hoping to find something unique AND convenient.

            While not everything was stellar (my husband's fish stew, a special, had way too much overcooked fish), the tahdigh with lamb stew and the saffron lamb chops were delicious. Our friend liked his gheymeh a lot, too.

            And what can you say about Sebastian? He's got customer service down, that's for sure. Btw, they're doing special dinners on Thursday nights (soon to be Fridays) merging various cuisines with Persian/Middle Eastern. Tonight's is "Culinary Journey From Tehran To Shanghai." We hope to try one of these in the near future.

            1 Reply
            1. re: VaPaula

              Thanks for the tip on "Tehran to Shanghai," VaPaula. I'm not sure how it has much to do with anything actually Shanghai-related; but last night I checked out some items from that menu. The saffron-based soup and lamb-filled dumplings were very good; the lamb with broccolini was better than that. And the tahdigh w/eggplant stew and cornish hen were delicious as always.

              Head's up: Sebastian said that they'll be running their "Shanghai" specials for at least another couple of days, through Saturday or Sunday.

            2. A return to Amoo's found a special of Tandoori-smoked branzino with pomegranates. An outrageous dish. $25.

              Also tried the lamb chops from the regular menu, which were expensive ($26) but a terrific treat. A bit spicy.

              This place could be for everyday eatin' or a special occasion.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Steve

                Just so that nobody gets the wrong idea: I do not think the lamb or the fish was too expensive. The price was fair considering the quality, and I am very happy that I live within an easy drive of Amoo's. My use of the word 'outrageous' means that it was better than very delicious, particularly the fish.

                However, spending this much on lunch is far from an everyday occurrence for me.

              2. March 2014; our first visit to Amoo's last night. This tiny restaurant was slammed when we walked in but they honored our reservation time with a wait of only a few minutes. We had booked for six and they put us at a table for four, which was all they had, but it was a large table and we had enough room. The food was GREAT. We had the potato flatbread (a special) and all loved it. The paneer was served in what was basically a salad rather than separate ingredients that you could mix as you liked (as it is done at Shamshiry). We prefer the mix-your-own much better, though all the ingredients were super-fresh and of exceptional quality. The shirin polo and zereshk polo were both phenomenal. The only misstep was that I order the fesenjoon, a stew with chicken breast marinated in pomegranate and what I got was chicken kabob. It was good but not what I had ordered. Surprising given that the waiter even helped me to pronounce fesenjoon. All else - salmon kabob, tandoori chicken, and the gheymeh stew were fantastic. Service was slightly slow but we wanted to sit and chat anyway, so not an issue.

                $130 for six people (six entrees, two apps, and orders of zereshk polo and shirin polo for the table). Great value.

                Can't wait to go back. Reservations strongly recommended as it is very small.

                1. Third trip to Amoo now and even better than the first two times. We had a hugely tough time trying to decide what to order. Ended up with the special goat shank which was unbelievable - the meat melted on your tongue. What amazes me about this food - one of the things that amazes me - is how perfectly seasoned everything is. The flavors are absolutely heavenly. We also ordered a chimichurri lamb. I don't like lamb. At all. I LOVED this lamb. One of our friends said it was the best lamb she'd ever eaten - even better than her grandmother's lamb dishes. Also up - the chicken fesenjoon. More love. The tandoori chicken. Another hit. We shared plates of baghali polo (I don't like dill so I didn't try this one), shirin polo, kereshk polo, and albaloo polo, all without the optional proteins. I could eat those dishes for desert (not because they are sweet, but because they are so delicious). But we also had desert - a special tiramisu-like cake and the rose water ice cream.

                  Every single bite of this meal was as good as the first. How many meals have you had like that? This is food of love - made with love, infused with love, served with love, and we ate it with love.

                  It is tiny so reservations are a must.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    chef sebastian is super-enthusiastic about excelling as a creative chef. and he's got the touch -- for sure, plus plenty of hard work.

                    he was in peru earlier this year and was inspired by the cuisine -- even to feature it in a "fusion" food event with perisan-peruvian cuisine. while chimichurri isn't peruvian, i'm sure he is exploring latin american flavors. (i adore chimichurri).

                    FYI, he has a food truck now, so for lunches, you can catch him in various arlington locales. he's trying to get the permitting done for fairfax, too. bureaucracy! his twitter handle is @ChefSebOnWheels.