Attari Grill: Stepping Up Persian Culinary Efforts in Westwood
1388 Westwood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
310 441 5488
Date of Visit: May 13 & November 18, 2012
Attari Grill is the snazzier spinoff of Attari Sandwich Shop from Ayla Sadaghiani, husband Mike Sadaghiani and mother in law Parvin Sadaghiani. The sandwich shop has a tree-lined patio and specializes in sandwiches and soups like kuku and ash while the grill has all of those dishes, plus a panoply of kabobs, Persian stews and one remarkable soup, making Attari a star in the Westwood neighborhood known as Tehrangeles.
Tah-dig ($9.95) comes on saffron stained basmati rice and includes a choice of two stews, making this a remarkable value considering they cost about $12 each. Earthy Gheymeh Bademjon featured beef chunks and split peas cooked with tomato sauce; and Ghormeh Sabsi brought more brightness to the plate. Sure there were beef chunks and kidney beans, but also cilantro, parsley, herbs and lemon.
At its core, Attari is a grill, and it’s wise to order some kabobs, my favorite being Koobideh ($12.50), skewers of seasoned prime ground beef served with special tart barberry rice and a colorful but staid salad.
Barg Fillet ($17.95) is another winner, with seared strips of marinated tenderloin and saffron stained basmati rice. Try both preparations with the Beef Combo or opt for Chicken Kabob ($14.50), with juicy dark meat and a squeeze of lime.
Seafood isn’t Attari’s focus, though Rainbow Trout ($15.50) is solid, butterflied and bronzed via pan-frying, probably for a bit too long during our meal. It was easy to enjoy the accompanying sabzi polo, basmati rice seasoned with dill, parsley and cilantro, an enlightening blend.
My return trip convinced me that Attari Grill has the upper hand on neighboring restaurants with their Kale Pache ($14.50), a weekend only soup of tender lamb tongue, cheek and leg, creamier chunks of brain, and a dusting of cinnamon. Squeeze on lime and spoon pungent house-made pickles called torshi and offal lovers will find funky bliss.
Adas Polo with Cornish Hen ($17.950) features a whole bird partially submerged in a tomato-based that’s fairly juicy, but the star attraction is the savory-sweet basmati rice tossed with lentils, raisins, dates and marble-sized beef meatballs.
There’s so much menu overlap at Los Angeles Persian restaurants that it can be tough for any single spot to stand out. Some places prefer to bake their own bread, others feature more unique cuts of meat like lamb neck. For the most part, Attari Grill sticks to the proven Persian playbook, but they do a better job than most at preparing on those dishes.