Persian Food in the New York Times

Mehdi-Ghasemi-House-of-Kabob-NYT

A couple of months ago, right around Norooz, I played tour guide to a food writer, Sara Dickerman, who was working on a story about Tehrangeles’s culinary offerings for the New York Times. We went to House of Kabob and Q Market in Reseda, and Mashti Malone in Hollywood. It was fun and delicious, and she was really cool and open and excited about Persian food and culture. She asked great questions and wanted to try everything.

The story was published today (“Persian Cooking Finds a Home in Los Angeles“). Sara’s a fantastic writer and she did such a great job of capturing the food and people of Tehrangeles. I love that Persian food is finally getting the press and props it deserves, and I love that Sara wrote about the Valley and included House of Kabob, my favorite Persian restaurant anywhere, and I love the above photo of its owner, Agha Mehdi, who has the best mustache in the world. 

Anyway, I think this is so exciting. Please also check out the cute slideshow by Stephanie Diani that will warm your heart.

Persian Cooking Videos

A few weeks ago I spent some time with a reporter writing about Persian food in LA for a really big national publication. And lately I’ve been noticing Persian food popping up more in blogs and media. Is our awesome cuisine finally going mainstream?

Either way, I am pleased to share these really lovely and to-the-point “Persian Food Tutorials” from Cyrus Dowlatshahi’s Fatty Productions. Cyrus has done a great job condensing Persian recipes into how-to videos that are under two minutes long. And he’s working on more of these, which I’m really looking forward to seeing!

Here’s one on how to prepare jujeh kabob (i.e., chicken kabob):

And one on how to prepare mast-o-khiar (cucumber yogurt):

You may remember Cyrus from our post on the film Kabob Guy. Check out more of his work at the Fatty Productions Vimeo page.

Aab Doogh Khiyaar Recipe

Aab Doogh Khiyaar - by Yogurtsoda

Aab Doogh Khiyaar - by Yogurtsoda

Mariam Hosseini, aka Yogurtsoda, just posted an amazing recipe for a cold Persian soup called “Aab Doogh Khiyaar.” I didn’t even know it existed, so I can’t wait to try it myself. Mariam writes:

Aab doogh khiyaar is for Iranians what gazpacho is to Spaniards or what somen is to the Japanese. It’s a comfort food for me, evocative of long sweltering days where my family couldn’t be bothered to turn on the oven.

Maykadeh Restaurant, San Francisco

Pars Arts is on a mini-hiatus as I scour San Francisco for the best neighborhood to move to… and last night took me to dinner at Maykadeh restaurant in North Beach.

I heard from one source that this is a fantastic restaurant, and another assures me it’s not the best Persian food in the Bay Area. I hope the second source is right, because the kabob koobideh was slightly mushy, the shishlik lacked seasoning, the kashke bademjan was lacking in acidity, and the little faloodeh noodles didn’t taste quite right.

I will say that their Persian Martini (with pomegranate juice) was nice and strong, and tasted great. Their service was also really great, the photos on the wall are beautiful, and the sink in their bathroom is really cool. Unfortunately, none of those things (besides the martini) are edible.

So if you’re in the San Francisco area, pray tell – where do you go for really good Persian food?