Naan Hut Brings Fresh Sangak to West L.A. (And They’re Now Serving Kebabs)
There aren’t many things that are better than fresh baked bread, and it hardly gets fresher than sangak made from a real Persian bakery. Often referred to as “Iran’s national bread”, the first time I had sangak was at Attari Grill, where the small piece of flatbread came wrapped around a delicious koobideh kebab as part of lunch. But nothing can compare to seeing one of these four foot long surfboards of warm sour dough flatbread coming fresh out of a gigantic lazy susan’ish oven looking thing. There are no shortage of these bakeries in the valley (Asal Bakery in Woodland Hills is well worth the drive) but in the Midtown Lunch area between Downtown and Santa Monica? Not so much.
So I was super excited to hear that the (unfortunately named) Naan Hut, on Santa Monica Blvd in West L.A. had nothing to do with Indian bread… and was actually a real deal Persian sangak bakery, just like the places in the valley.
The key thing to remember at a sangak bakery is don’t be shy! Everybody wants a fresh baked piece, so none of the bread is made in advance, and each piece takes around 3-5 minutes from start to finish. Plus a lot of people order multiple pieces, so you can never tell how long the wait is going to be based on the number of people waiting. The good thing about Naan Hut is they have one of those number dispensers… but it didn’t seem like they were using it when I was there. Pay careful attention to who was there before you, and who came in after so you know when it’s your turn to get bread. You have to be patient, but try to make eye contact with the guy behind the counter and make sure they know what you want as quickly as possible. The potential for piss poor service (and as a result, anger) is high, but it all becomes worth it once they hand you that warm folded over piece of sangak wrapped in butcher paper.
Tear that first piece off and take a bite of Persian heaven. Of course as tempted as I was to eat the whole thing, bread isn’t exactly a lunch. So I was excited to see that as promised awhile back to Squid Ink they have started serving some regular food.
It’s not really a sit down kind of place, but there are two tables in front of the counter if you want to sit and eat your food. We ordered one of each kind of kebab, and they ended up combining the three into one gigantor catering platter (so I’m not totally sure what one lunch plate would look like if that’s all you ordered.)
Each kebab comes with some re-heated sangak that’s been cut into squares, roasted tomatoes, pickles and peppers. The chicken was surprisingly juicy, but overall the koobideh was probably my favorite. It wasn’t as flavorful as Attari’s version, and those of you who need rice or dips with your Middle Eastern food might be disappointed, but it’s also cheaper so it’s tough to complain. And in the end you’re really there for the fresh baked bread… the kebabs are just a nice bonus!
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Fresh baked sangak without driving to the valley? My prayers have been answered…
- Koobideh kebab with sangak and roasted tomatoes for just $6 is kind of a great deal
- Did I mention the bread is amazing? (And only $3 per piece.)
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The kebabs were well cooked, but they could have been a bit more flavorful
- What, no dips or rice or anything? Maybe Persian food isn’t my thing
- The sangak that comes with the kebabs is not as good as the fresh baked stuff.
- Bread is great, but it’s not really a lunch place. You’re better off driving to Westwood
- I don’t feel like fighting a bunch of Persian ladies for a piece of bread
- What’s up with the name? Naan and sangak are two totally different things!
Naan Hut, 11551 Santa Monica Blvd, 310-481-9820