How to think about Iranian food

Sadly, I've never been to Iran, though I would love to go.  Here are a few tips for the Iranian food I've had elsewhere:

1. A good koresh (stew) almost always beats a good kabob.  Ghormeh sabzi and bademjan are national treasures.

2. The choice of rice is a central decision.  Get zereshk polo — barberry rice — as much as you can.  Or get cherry rice, rice with pistachio, etc.  All those choices are winners.

3. Lamb shank can end up being dull in a Persian restaurant.  If served with dill the dish is often too dry.

4. Fesanjan, fesanjan, fesanjan.  In Iceland I once ate fesenjan guillemot.  The fesenjan in a can that you find in Persian groceries is actually pretty good.

5. Don't be afraid to smear mast-o-moseer (or musir; the spellings and transliterations vary, as with many of these dishes) into your rice.  Always order mast-o-moseer.

6. Soups are excellent, especially if they are fragrant and have noodle-like entities.  Soups without barley are usually better than soups with barley.

7. In this country Westwood, Los Angeles has the best Iranian food overall.  Check out Westwood Ave. and also Pico.

8. If you are in a country where you do not expect to see Persian food, and you see Persian food, it is usually very good.  As a partial exception to a rule of good eating, a single Persian restaurant can be very good even if there are not other Persian restaurants around.

Comments

Can we generalize rule 8? Walking around in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden you'll find another sushi bar every 30 meters. Out of the appr 5 bars I visited, 1 served reasonable food.
In Utrecht, the Netherlands, there's just a few restaurants serving sushi. Out of 2 I visited, 2 where delicious.
Adverse selection, right?

When my Iranian roommate came home with an impossibly huge amount of parsley, I had no idea what he was going to do with it - then ghormeh sabzi came out, and I was enlightened.

Also, this calls for more tabbouleh song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FaNzrtu0KM

You forgot one thing, tah dig, the bottom of the pan, crunchy rice that is a classic of Iranian cuisine.

Right on. Here is Seattle, the best Persian place is "Caspian Grill", vouched for by a couple of Iranian friends, and I've had every dish you mention there. I always have to loosen my belt. My wife loves the "rose rice" (or "candy rice"). And I've definitely had good Persian food in SoCal.

As a persian, I have to disagree a little bit:

1. Stews are delicious, but a good kabob certainly hits the spot more often than not.

2. Zereshk polo is my favorite. You should try tachin if you can find it...it's labor intensive so few places have it.

3. I disagree, especially if you get the lamb shank as part of a stew.

6. I prefer the the soups with barley. Reza's in chicago used to have an excellent one about 10 years ago but they changed it at some point since.

8. This rule doesn't hold true in the US however. I've had some amazingly bad and overpriced persian food from restaurants with no competition.

9. You have to try the saffron, pistacchio and rose water ice cream with a dallop of sour cherries on top.

10. never ever ever order bomieh or zulbieh (persian desserts) from a restaurant. they are always old and dried out. most persian restaurants have a store close by...go there and get dessert as it's much fresher. and if you do get dessert, always get the tea to go with it.

Mmm! I'm lucky enough to live a mere block away from a fine Persian restaurant. Anyone in NYC will not be disappointed by Pars, on 26th between 7th & 8th. (I think it superior to Ravagh, although have heard that Colbeh may be even better.) They have a great albaloo polo (cherry rice) and fine adas polo and a very good kabab; alas, I seem to be addicted to the ghormeh sabzi and cannot get anything else.
For apps, their mast moosir is superb with all rices, and their kashkeh bademjan (smoked mashed eggplant app - like babaganoush on steroids) is unmissable. It has fesenjan and walnuts on the top. Possibly the single best thing there (edging out the ghormeh sabzi very slightly!)

Can you give some recommendations for which restaurants are good in Westwood?

Can you give some recommendations for which restaurants are good in Westwood?

shamshiri and sharazad are the two places i frequented.

I guess the food is something you need to be careful with.Combining different sortiments of food may cause nausea and that is something you wouldn't want to experience.Of corse if you find a new sortiment of food in your country, something you weren't able to taste until that moment the food will taste extrodinary.Buy Anabolic Steroids

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