It’s been fun to watch Farsi Cafe ascend to the upper echelon of Persian restaurants in Los Angeles. The owners started with a counter at Westwood’s Super Sun market, where they’d fill a refrigerated case with an array of dips, soups and rice dishes while grilling a small menu of kebabs in the open kitchen. Farsi Café eventually stockpiled enough resources and built the necessary momentum to take over Baran, a fashionable restaurant next door that previously delivered style over substance. Now, the space has food that more than rivals the design, including Abgoosht ($12.99), which is available Fridays and Saturdays.
Abgoosht is a multi-part dish that actually starts on Thursday nights with a pot of beef shoulder, potatoes, tomatoes, white beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans, which the chefs boil overnight, low and slow. They keep the broth as soup, but drain and mash the ingredients, resulting in a thick, hearty, light brown heap. The mash joins sesame-studded sangak bread, a selection of herbs (sabzi) like mint, basil and tarragon. Crunchy sliced red radishes join the fray, as does torshi, punchy pickles that are minced and might include carrots, cauliflower, and celery. Tear some sangak and drop it in the tangy soup, pile the mash on more sangak with sabzi and torshi, and enjoy a comforting weekend special.