Attari Opens Sit Down “Grill” Next to Sandwich Shop
Big news in the world of Westwood Persian food! Attari Sandwich Shop, the (not so) hidden gem on Wilkins Ave. just off of Westwood Blvd., has opened up a sit down restaurant just to the right of their cozy courtyard. Attari has long been famous for their unique sandwiches (kuku, kotlets, or tongue anybody?) and delicious kebabs, but the two month old Attari Grill gives them a chance to showcase a more upscale menu- featuring a whole host of stews more similar to their incredibly popular ab goosht (which is only served on Fridays at the sandwich shop.)
And you know what the best part is? Despite a way pricier menu, the “Grill” has a bunch of lunch specials for under $10. Naturally, I had to try all of them.
The restaurant is pretty small (maybe around 30 seats?) and offers a nice respite from the lunchtime madness that plagues the sandwich shop. We’ll see how long that lasts!
The menu features a long list of appetizers, 4 different types of chicken kabob, 3 different beef kabobs, lamb, seafood and a vegetarian kebab, plus soups, salads, sandwiches, and 5 house specialties. Apps will run $4-10, sandwiches and entrees are $12-$22. But they offer a small lunch specials menu from 11:30am to 3pm every day:
Koobideh (ground beef or chicken skewer) – $7.95
Shish Kabob (filet mignon) – $11.95
Rainbow Trout (fried) – $11.95
Chicken Kabob – $9.95
White Fish Kabob – $11.95
Salmon Kabob – $11.95
Gheymeh Stew (beef stew) – $8.95
Gheymeh Bademjon Stew (beef stew with eggplant) – $9.95
Ghormeh Sabzi (herb stew with beef) – $9.95
Hello under $10 beef stews! The gheymeh stew was must order ($8.95), after I read the description- “chunks of beef and split peas cooked with tomato sauce TOPPED WITH FRENCH FRIES”. (I added the caps.)
How can a french fry topped stew be bad? The small chunks of beef were stewed just short of melt in your mouth tender, and came swimming in a savory tomato sludge of split peas. The french fries were just generic shoestring fries, and were a tad bit stale… but whatever. They were french fries on top of stew! So great. And once you mixed it all together it didn’t matter if they were lukewarm or not crunchy. The stew itself had this great lemon-y flavor, most likely from the dried lemons that get cooked in there whole (rind and all.) You can see two of them in the bowl at the top of the photo. I’ve never had a stewed lemon before, so the big punch of sourness was a bit of a shock to the system. (Think of it as an adult version of Toxic Waste.) In the end I was really into it, but I would recommend treading lightly.
The gheymeh bademjon stew ($9.95) is the same base, but instead of french fries they lay a small roasted eggplant over the top- and you get no stewed lemon (although it still has the same great lemon-y flavor.) I love eggplant, but it kind of gets lost in the rest of the stew. And, as good as eggplant is, it ain’t better than french fries! Go with the original…
Next to the stewed whole lemon stew, the ghormeh sabzi ($9.95) seemed a bit tame. It still has a nice citrus tang and great spices, along with big chunks of stewed beef, plus the same green herbs you get in the kuku sabzi sandwich next door. Apparently this is the ultimate in Persian comfort food, and their version does not disappoint. (Although, admittedly it’s the first and only version I’ve ever had!) The beef was a tiny bit overcooked, but it didn’t really matter. The flavor was amazing.
One of the things I’ve never tried at the sandwich shop is their kabobs. As delicious as the sangak wrapped tubes of meat always look, the cheapest one is $10.50 (just outside the ML price range.) But Attari Grill, for some reason, offers the koobideh as a lunch special for $7.95. It comes with grilled tomato, and basmati rice- but for an extra $1 you can replace the rice with the sangak bread you get next door. A Midtown Lunch’ish menu loophole!
So, $8.95 gets you beef or chicken koobideh wrapped in a giant piece of sangak, served with onions and a grilled tomato. I’m guessing it’s less food than the order of koobideh next door, but it’s plenty for lunch. And it means you can now get Attari’s outstanding kabob and super delicious sangak for under $10.
Forgot to mention the free bread! And all of the stews come with a perfectly cooked, heaping plate of bi-color basmati rice.
There is no question that the sandwich shop is still more of a Midtown Lunch than the grill, and it will be hard to go over there and not get one of their great sandwiches. But on those days that things are a bit too crazy in the courtyard (uh… Fridays!!!), or you’re looking for a more leisurely/refined sit down lunch in Westwood, Attari Grill is your new favorite spot.
- All the greatness of Attari, in a refined, sit down setting.
- Under $10 stews, available on days other than Friday? Awesome!
- You can get koobideh kabob for under $10. That’s cheaper than the sandwich shop.
- I love that sour lemony flavor that’s in so much of the food from Iran
- You had me at “french fry topped stew”
- With tax and tip it ends up being way over $10. I’ll stick to the sandwich shop.
- I think you get more food when you order the kabobs next door
- Why ruin a perfectly good stew with a gigantic sour lemon! I’m not into that flavor
- The french fries were a tad bit stale.
- It might not be packed now, but we’ll see how long that lasts!
- They’re closed on Mondays! WTF
- Oh, and parking is terrible. You’ve got to get lucky and find a metered spot on Westwood Blvd
Attari Grill, 1388 Westwood Blvd (Enter on Wilkins), 310-446-4660