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Even the quickest glance into Flame, the slick Iranian restaurant on the Tehrangeles stretch of Westwood Boulevard, reveals the shiny clay sphere at its heart, the tanor oven, source of some of the city's finest flatbread. Regulars know that you can pretty much make a meal of this tanori bread, singed and still smoking, smeared with cold butter and wrapped around an onion, especially if you accompany it with the house's panir sabzi platter: a big plate of fresh mint, lemony Persian basil and superpungent Persian tarragon, along with walnuts soaked in saltwater and a block of squeaky feta cheese. Much of the produce is organic, bought at farmers markets, and the restaurant is one of the few Iranian places in the area that serve halal food. You will find the usual bowls of yogurt-based white-garlic dip and the vinegary Iranian pickles called torshi, the usual stews - the pomegranate-walnut concoction called fesenjon, the vegetable/salted lime stew gormeh sabzi, and the tomatoey split peas called ghemeh. But Flame is basically a place to get kebabs - juicy skewers of ground chicken or marinated chicken breast, tartly mineral rack of lamb, shish kebab and fish kebab, and a wonderful kebab of Cornish game hen, accompanied by enormous drifts of rice. Even at lunch, the customers tend to be better-dressed than they are anywhere this side of Spago and the Grill.
Even the quickest glance into Flame, the slick Iranian restaurant on the Tehrangeles stretch of Westwood Boulevard, reveals the shiny clay sphere at its heart, a giant tiled eyeball, its pupil shooting fire, constantly tended by men who prod the... More »
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