Food & Drink

Beyond the kebab: LA's best Persian restaurants (and what to order)

Published On 07/14/2014 Published On 07/14/2014
Flickr/LWYang
Flickr/Stu_Spivack
Tannaz Sassooni
Javan
Tannaz Sassooni
Joshua Lurie/ FoodGPS
Feed The Monster
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1. Farsi Café 1916 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (West La)

This Westide Persian haunt has a menu loaded with kabobs, sammies, seafood and more, but if you want their specialty, check out the Chicken Tahchin, which is chicken pieces mixed with basmati rice, yogurt, and saffron, all baked slowly until the rice mixture becomes lightly custardy and a crispy golden brown crust forms around the outside.

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2. Attari Sandwich Shop 1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

The sandwiches at Attari in Westwood will make you rethink the lunch staple. Each features a main ingredient like chicken cutlet, tongue (the bestseller), or the omelet-like kuku layered between crusty slices of French bread and topped with tomatoes, pickles, and spiced Iranian pickles. The menu also includes Iranian stew specials and classic kabobs. The sunny courtyard patio will make your lunch taste that much better.

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3. Nersses Vanak 6524 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91201 (Glendale)

If you're in Glendale and enjoy a solid Persian spot, than this is it. Their menu is extensive, but their best dish is the Dizi, which is a tomato-based, simmered-for-hours soup that comes with crisped lavash flatbread to tear up and mix in.

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4. Asal Bakery and Kabob 20008 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

This Woodland Hills haunt offers up Persian comfort food, plain and simple, and the best option on their menu is the haleem, which is a savory breakfast porridge of wheat and shredded turkey, served with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It may sound weird, but it's outstanding.

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5. Javan Restaurant 11500 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (West La)

We don't know who Joe is, but his namesake dish (the Ash Joe) at this West LA spot, a hearty soup of barley, legumes, greens, and rice topped with fried mint and caramelized onions, will make you feel warm and cozy from the inside out, so you should consider Joe a good friend.

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6. Café Glacé 1441 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

This Westwood hangout is all about modern Tehrani food, including the capital city's spin on pizza. Here, the personal-sized pies come sauce-free, broiled until the cheese is browned and bubbly, and topped with exotic delights like chopped up hot dogs, green bell peppers, corn, or sesame seeds.

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7. Cafe Aly 310 E Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

This sandwich spot near Santee Alley is a classic LA culture mashup: alongside Mexican-ness like huaraches and tortas, you can also order Persian sandwiches with fillings like kosher sausage and halal mortadella.

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8. It's All Good House of Kabob 6800 Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335

This strip mall Persian spot in Reseda features all kinds of Persian favorites, but on Saturdays and Sundays, they serve biryani -- not the rice dish you'd usually get for ordering the same thing elsewhere, but actually an obscure specialty of Isfahan that you won't find anywhere else that's composed of a rich patty of ground lamb (seasoned w/ cinnamon and other warm spices) that's deep fried (!!) and served on top of homemade bread.

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9. Kabab Mahaleh 8762 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

The kabob at this Pico corridor kosher resto is delicious, but the true prize here is the bread. Mahaleh has a real sangak oven: its floor is covered in hot pebbles, and the dough is stretched across them, giving the chewy, several-feet-long flatbread its bumpy, holey texture and bits of perfect char.