By Iman Sadri
January 30, 2022
As I sit in Taste of Tehran I feast on a gourmet Fesenjoon with chicken. Freshly prepared that day by the culinary mastermind + entrepreneur behind the famed locale in Persian Square, Saghar Fanisalek. Known as Saghi, Ms. Fanisalek has hosted dignitaries, Persian grandparents and Anthony Bourdain, among countless others. Saghi and Taste of Tehran appeared in Anthony Bourdain‘s Parts Unknown on CNN. The late tall foodie praised the establishment’s prideful and delicious menu. Saghi has also been a judge on Top Chef. This rock star chef orders the freshest poultry and meats. She takes pride in her culinary experience for her guests. My side salad accompanying my Fesenjoon is as farm to fork as it can get. Fresh heirloom tomatoes, dill, parsley, finely chopped lettuce, cucumbers, diced carrots and a cup of Tzatziki, which in itself is a handmade concoction of the freshest ingredients.
I kindly tell the waiter, ‘No bread Amoo Jan.’ Since I do No Bread, No Pasta, and No Pizza abiding by my no carb lifestyle. In my book, Master The Psychology of Weight Loss (On Amazon Feb 8, 2022) – I reference how the last two years I eat Persian food and all food, without rice. The waiter with spiky jet black hair sets down the mast-o-musir (yogurt and shallots) and the doogh (carbonated yogurt drink) with a cup of ice. They have a favorite, the red-cap Abali doogh. A tart, non-mint version which I pour into a cup of ice. I do also favor the mint version of all doogh varieties, carbonated or non-carbonated. Even better still Saghi and the crew made fresh, at-home doogh. The fesenjoon is a delight to the palate. The boneless chicken melts on your teeth as your tastebuds relish the sweet and sour stew.
Saghi hand crafts each stew and her team of chefs prepares the most exquisite kabob this side of Tehran. Hence the name of this Westwood institution is apropos. You really do get a taste of culinary Tehran at Taste of Tehran. The gourmet delicate beef kabob is second to none. As I sit outside in the Westwood courtyard patio in the back of the restaurant I stare up at the bright string lights. The yellow and white bright light illuminates the narrow alley way. The narrow courtyard patio in the alley way connects the sidewalk to the parking behind the restaurant building. Three tables with chairs adorn the outside of the restaurant. In the patio courtyard of the restaurant five tables are reserved in the back. Heating lamps align the the alley way. The sidewalk runs parallel to the famed Westwood Blvd. Packed with an array of deli’s, grocery stores, bookstores, restaurants and ice cream parlors. Taste of Tehran is a culinary Rock Star experience in the city where Rock Stars are born.
Westwood is home to the largest Iranian population per capita outside of Iran. An array of Persian restaurants, deli’s, grocery stores, bookstores and ice cream shops line up Westwood Blvd. Taste of Tehran is a jewel of this 40 + year enclave for the Persian diaspora. For an authentic feast of Persian delights, where your favorite stews and kabobs are hand crafted fresh daily, come visit Taste of Tehran.
Follow Taste of Tehran on social media @TasteOfTehran
Follow Iman Sadri on social media @DrImanSadri and @ThePersianObserver