Shamshiri is a Persian restaurant located on Westwood Blvd (obviously) and it sure was hoppin’ for lunch today.
As I entered, I felt really guilty for scanning the joint briefly for the cast of Shahs of Sunset. Sadly, none were to be found. I feel comfortable admitting this because I’ve seen them at several Hollywood after parties.
I’ve eaten Persian food many times before (I’ve even taken a Persian cooking class and also speak a tiny bit of Farsi) so I knew a few menu items I already liked.
Today, I was to be adventurous. Time to order something I couldn’t pronounce.
I asked a Persian co-worker what he recommended and then proceeded to order two of those things.
My beverage of choice today was Doogh, a creamy savory yogurt drink. Very unique. It grew on me (like a fungus), but definitely an acquired taste. It’s often served at Persian grocery stores bottled and carbonated but today I drank the Doogh they made in-house.
To start, my friend and I shared the Tadig, crispy rice topped with the stew of your choice.
I chose Fesenjan (Pomagranate and Walnut) and upon my first bite, I realized the rice was both fairly undercooked yet almost burnt. Quite the feat!
Not the Japanese style crispy rice I was anxiously expecting.
“That’s how we like it” I was later told when I confronted my co-worker about why the rice was so nasty.
I decided to never speak to him again.
I should have gotten the Fesenjan with chicken over the usual soft, pillowy saffron rice and called it a day.
Last for me were the Koobideh Sliders. I expected the Koobideh (Iranian minced kabob meat) to be on little, cute buns. Then I realized that the lavash bread that had been placed in front of me (now completely devoured) at the beginning of the meal were our “buns”.
When you come to a Persian restaurant, you are commonly greeted with Lavash bread and raw onions (sometimes butter, sometimes fresh mint, depends on the restaurant).
Raw onions are a natural antiseptic. FYI.
For both germs and your fellow humans.
The Koobideh was delicious. Moist and perfectly seasoned. Would have liked some kind of sauce (hummus, tahini, yogurt sauce) to go with it, but I’ll survive.
The Bread Guy’s Chicken Shamshiri (a combo of Chicken Barg and Chicken Koobideh) looked very traditional. Two huge skewers of chicken (sticks removed) sitting on a MOUNTAIN of yellow (sometimes saffron, often food coloring) stained rice accompanied by baked tomatoes and onions. We both really loved it.
Come to Shamshiri and explore the delicious and unique stews, high quality meats and large portions.
Then maybe throw up a little when you get home cuz you overdid it. Just a little, mind you.
Man khastam, šab bexeyr! (I’m tired, good night!)
1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024