Shabestan, Intercontinental Dubai
Today, I hit up what multiple people told me was the best Iranian restuarant in the city, Shabestan, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai. And true to form, this was awesome - and with a crapload of portions too. I got my favorite kubideh, which although was a bit less cooked than I would like (I want a little bit of carbon crispiness), it still went well with the raw onions and grilled tomatoes. The deep red sour somagh spice was available for sprinkling on top, as was a side of some sort of pickles.
Kinda like in Thailand, it also started with a huge plate of raw veggies: lettuce, mint leaves, basil, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, scallions, and cheese. But here, you can mix it with a yogurt not too unlike Indian raita, and then eat it with the flatbread (which, mind you, was the lightest and tastiest that I've ever had). The thin and sour dough drink also helped wash it down. To finish it off, I got some tea and faloodeh, which is an Iranian ice cream that was a little crunchy with a sugary coating and was even more unique thanks to the rose water and saffron water dribbled over it.
If it sounds like a lot of food, it was. There was so much leftover that it was such a shame if they really threw it all away (although of course a bit disturbing if they re-used it too). The cool thing is that this is probably the most authentic I'm ever going to get to Persian food, short of being able to go to Tehran anytime soon. That being the case, this says a lot about Shamshiri in West LA: that place is pretty much just as tasty as this one, so folks in West LA really have it good.