As we know from the Shahs of Sunset, Los Angeles is teeming with a vibrant Iranian-American community: The city actually has the biggest Persian population outside of Iran — so it earns its nickname "Tehrangeles."
That means the Persian food scene is completely legit — make that downright drool worthy. It centers around "Little Persia" in the Westwood area of L.A., and spills over into surrounding communities. Here's where to get the absolute best Persian food when in town.
1. Shamshiri Grill
The Westwood establishment Shamshiri is an institution — typically the first Persian restaurant to come to mind for any local. It has a glass-enclosed open-grill kitchen where diners can check out the chefs grilling kabobs on open flames, and slicing meats from spinning shawarma machines. Sit indoors or out for lunch or dinner — and find vegan-friendly dishes here too. But Shamshiri is most well known for its shirin polo: basmati rice with saffron, orange peels, pistachios, and almonds.
2. Darya Restaurant
The Persian institution Darya, with a 30-year history, has locations in West Los Angeles as well as Orange County. (Perhaps the #RHOC would care to come in for a bite?) It serves lunch and dinner with specialties like filet mignon, fish, lamb, and plenty of vegetarian platters from which to choose, too.
3. Taste of Tehran
Located in Westwood, Taste of Tehran is small — with just a handful of tables — and casual, with impeccable service. From a chalkboard menu, try the likes of salmon or filet mignon kabobs. Or with a date, grab the Tehran Plate Special for two, with bread to start, as well as rice, salad, skewers, and kabobs.
Walk in through a courtyard entrance and order at the counter at the casual neighborhood institution Attari. The Westwood sandwich shop specializes in — you guessed it — Persian sandwiches. Know before you go: It's closed on Mondays.
The Westwood Boulevard spot Flame Persian Cuisine has excellent service and a major perk when it comes to food: The restaurant makes its own bread, which melts in your mouth. Portions are big; share with a friend or a date.
Come to the West Los Angeles eatery Javan for huge portions of traditional fare, with gracious service. Stay for tea and Persian pastries — or just go all in with cocktails from the full bar.
Come to the Westwood Boulevard restaurant Shaherzad for stews and kubideh kabob (that's kabob made with ground beef or lamb, or a combo of those) — plus fresh bread that Iranian-Americans swear by.
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