Friday, April 1, 2011

Persian Food At Its Best (and it's not in LA?)

I come from a land where the scent of kabob fills the air- Los Angeles. It’s the mecca of Persian food outside of Iran and with so many places to choose from, including my mother’s house, it’s difficult for things to go wrong. When I moved to San Francisco, seeing that my cooking skills were not as up to par as my mother’s, I was on a mission to find the best place to eat Persian food. Sadly, it’s been a difficult journey filled with stuck-up waiters, bland and overpriced food, and a lack of that homey feeling I so much associate with Persian food. With every journey though, there are moments of pure triumph and this moment happened for me when I stepped into Lavash, a Persian restaurant in the Inner-Sunset.

The space is quite small, but the décor and lighting and genuine hospitality of the owner and wait staff made me feel right at home. Lavash isn’t trying too hard, allowing customers to have a comfortable fine-dining experience. I went with a large group of people and the wait staff was quite accommodating. My group, knowing my expertise in such matters, allowed me to order for everyone. Start your night off right with their Yogurt Salad- a mix of yogurt, cucumber, and spices- it sounds simple but it will blow you away. The Kashk-eh-Bademjan is also a great starter- seasoned roasted eggplant topped with roasted garlic, mint flakes and saffron. Moving on to the main course the kabob is a must, a Soltani combination will allow you to experience both the koobideh (ground beef) kabob as well as the barg (sliced beef fillet). Also, Lavash had my favorite dish at its best- Zereshk Polo. It’s a rice dish with barberries, raisins and sauteed onions served with chicken spiced with cumin, turmeric, and saffron. Each spoonful sent me right into my mother’s kitchen. Wash everything down with a glass of aromatic Persian tea and you’ll be raving for weeks about one of the greatest dining experiences in San Francisco.

511 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122-2513
(415) 664-5555

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