Dissecting the Food of Iran

Unbeknownst to many, “Persian” cuisine is actually Iranian cuisine – the traditional and modern style of cooking in Iran. Because Iran was formerly known as Persia, this fact is sometimes confused in the cultural mix of this Middle Eastern region; but be that as it may, the Iranian culinary style is indeed unique to Iran, even though it’s been influenced by neighboring and conquered areas at various times throughout its history. Typical Persian main dishes consist of combinations encompassing rice with meat – such as lamb, chicken or fish – and vegetables such as onions, various herbs and nuts.

Interestingly enough, you have probably visited a Persian restaurant before without having any idea whether the cuisine you were consuming was authentic Iranian fare or just an Americanized version – but we have solved that dilemma by locating some of the best Persian food in Woodland Hills as served by the top restaurants in the region. Once you’ve tried the real deal at these primo spots around L.A., we’re sure you’ll be coming back for more.

Kashcool Kitchen has become renowned for serving the best lamb chops and beef in the Valley, its signature fire-grilled kabobs also bursting with a flavor all their own. Offering authentic Persian cuisine to the Woodland Hills area since 1969, Kashcool Kitchen sees return customers who flock in droves for the restaurant’s vegetarian stews, filet mignon, chicken kabobs and koobideh, as well as its rack of lamb and Kashk-e-Bademjan (eggplant). Tucked away in the corner of a little strip mall, Kashcool has been wowing visitors with immense charm ever since opening its doors in the late 1960s, with plenty of indoor seating and a large, covered canine-friendly patio so your four-legged companion can enjoy the Persian treats along with you.

Bibi Sara  enters the Woodland Hills Persian eatery foray by offering delectable shish kabobs, wraps, saffron rice, yogurt and cucumber appetizer and more, the restaurant’s hospitable owner and staff regularly cited for their down-to-Earth approach to the clientele. Boasting a cozy, inviting vibe, Bibi Sara is a small establishment with seating for no more than 15 at a time, guaranteeing the personalized, one-on-one-esque experience many of the eatery’s fans rave about; located off Topanga Canyon and Dumetz Road near Ventura, you’ll find this Persian gem beckoning with Middle Eastern traits, affordable pricing and authentic culinary staples.

Denj Restaurant  is not your everyday Persian restaurant – here, unique and out-of-the-ordinary specialties await, including lamb hearts, lamb tongue, lamb liver and other exotic meat concoctions routinely enjoyed by Iranian natives. As a casual, come-as-you-are establishment, Denj enthralls with swift, friendly service and Persian delicacies like chicken breast kabob and ground beef kubideh skewer, alongside treasures such as Nan bread with onions, bay leaf and butter. If you’re looking for the perfect launching pad for your “Persian food in Woodland Hills experimentations,” the flavor-packed dishes at Denj Restaurant will far from disappoint.

Shandiz Restaurant and Grill  allows you to experience the “real taste of Persian cuisine in L.A.,” with a prime location in the heart of the Valley and plenty of parking at all times of the day. Founded in 2015, Shandiz has become one of the most talked-about Persian eateries in all of California, regularly cited for its Chicken Barg, a huge butterflied chicken breast filet served with grilled tomato, rice, onions and red pepper; the shish kabob, with perfectly succulent meat; the Chicken Koobideh; the Ash Joo and Mast Okhiyar with salad.

Shab Neshini Restaurant takes an “exceptional Persian approach,” offering a full lunch and dinner menu with custom-made traditional Persian recipes in addition to delectable vegan dishes. Serving what many of its return customers call “the best koobideh in the Valley,” Shab Neshini has become known for its delicious kabobs, Dizi and Mirza Ghasemi, to say nothing of its nearly famous sour cherry tea. From Chicken Kabob with salad and specialties like the Kabob Soltani to unique delicacies such as pineapple cake, this one-of-a-kind Persian dining venue is the ideal spot for both seasoned enthusiasts of Middle Eastern cuisine as well as for those experiencing it for the first time.

According to the U.S. Census, half of the country’s Persian population resides in Los Angeles…and yet, somehow, it seems that it is sometimes next to impossible to find a good Persian restaurant in L.A. that isn’t just passing itself off as a glorified kabob stand. But, as evidenced here by our roundup of some of the best Persian food in Woodland Hills, it’s not all-the-way impossible.