I’ve been told that Shah Abbas is quite an impressive dining destination on Saturday nights. They provide live music, and even a belly dancer. It’s located in a small strip mall, and is directly across the street from the SLS hotel and the new luxury apartments – 8500 Burton.
We were the first guests to arrive last Saturday night at 8 p.m. and the friendly hostess seated us along the back wall banquets with flat screen televisions showing Persian music videos.
On each table was a basket of Nan-e taftoon, a soft and thin bread, resembling lavash. Next to the basket were two bowls; one was filled with a colorful shirazai of freshly diced tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers with a lemon juice and olive oil. The second dish offered a creamy baba ghanoush made with mashed roasted eggplant that is mixed with olive oil, tahini and various seasonings. We scooped some baba ghanoush and shirazai on to the Nan-e taftoon and enjoyed the wonderful flavors.
The restaurant is one big room with tables arranged banquet style. There is a small stage lit with colored lights for the live entertainment, with a wood dance floor inviting guests to twirl around to the beat of the music.
Near the stage is a glass door leading to their comfortable hookah lounge where guests can smoke a hookah, drink creative cocktails and lounge among friends.
We started our dinner with a popular Persian dish, Tah-Deeg. It’s made from the crispy rice that cooks on the bottom of a pot, and is topped with two different stews. The rice acts like a crust, almost like a pizza. We had a dark herb stew called Ghormen Sabzi on one-half of the crunchy rice. It’s made with green onion, parsley, spinach and seasoned with marvelous Persian spices. On the other side was a fried beef and split pea stew called Gheymeh. It’s cooked in a mild tomato sauce.
Our server recommended that we order the beef and chicken kabob Soltani for our entrées. The beef arrived with two different types of kabob; ground beef seasoned with various spices that is charbroiled and skewered, and a filet mignon marinated in olive oil, onions, garlic, saffron, salt and pepper.
The chicken Soltani had two different types of seasoned chicken. All of the entrées come with basmati rice and grilled tomato. We ordered two of the specialty rice dishes with our entrées. My favorite rice was the Zereshk Polo with saffron and lovely sweet and sour currants.
Soltani means Sultan’s meal. Little did we know the portions are quite large. We could have easily shared our meal with two other guests.
By 9 p.m. the restaurant was packed with beautifully dressed guests. One woman walked in with a flowing white dress and looked like a Persian princess.
Many of the guests knew each other as they hugged and kissed each other’s cheeks. The banquet long tables are ideal for guests to sit close to one another to share food, laughter and conversation.
Around 9:15 p.m., the talented keyboard players started playing music. By 10 p.m., a belly dancer performed a show that was worthy of Shah Abbas, one of Persia’s greatest rulers.
Shah Abbas is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturdays, they stay open until midnight. $$ 400 S San Vicente Blvd. (310)659-3242.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.