Sunday marks Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year. The holiday has ancient roots stretching back more than three thousand years, and it celebrates spring sunshine dispelling the dark of winter. It makes for the perfect season to dine on Persian cuisine in these six Las Vegas restaurants.
Dream Kabob makes good on its enticing name with beef soltani, fire-grilled lengths of marinated ground beef and filet mignon. For a multi-textured experience, fork into tahchin, a baked cake of rice, chicken, yogurt and saffron. On the side, try mast-o musir, a yogurt dip studded with minced shallots.
Nevada Kabab brings seafood to the table with dramatic salmon skewers served with basmati rice and blistered tomato. The eatery’s impressive braised lamb shank is presented handsomely with fava beans and dill rice. The house Shirazi salad keeps things cool with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in a lemony dressing.
Hafez Persian Cuisine crafts savory appetizers like kashk o bademjan – sautéed eggplant blended with walnuts, garlic and yogurt with a drizzle of mint oil on top. The eatery also stews it up with saffron-infused gheymeh, a dish of slow-cooked beef, yellow split peas, tomatoes and saffron (a vegetarian version is available, too). For a holiday treat, pick up a container of samanak, a sweet, spreadable paste made from germinated wheat; it goes great with pieces of taftoon, Persian-style flatbread.
American Gypsy Cafe ladles up servings of aush, a traditional beef and barley soup from the Iranian homeland. Rice lovers are drawn to tahdig, crispy grain crust that’s a natural accompaniment to Persian stews. For a puckery beverage selection, sip on a glass of pomegranate juice.
Zaytoon Restaurant & Market is stacked floor to ceiling with imported food and drinks, and its sitdown side is known for a stunning plating of zereshk polo – grilled chicken kebab on a bed of steamed basmati rice. Some of the rice is pearly white, and some is golden-hued with saffron. Then everything is bejeweled with ruby-red dried barberries. There’s also ghormeh sabzi, a fragrant and dusky melange of beef, kidney beans and plentiful herbs. Wash everything down with a bottle of neon-green tarragon soda from Armenia.
Paymon’s Fesh Kitchen & Lounge cooks up one of Iran’s national dishes – fesenjan. It’s a rich stew of chicken, crushed walnuts and pomegranate molasses with a side of rice for soaking it all up. The establishment also carries Middle Eastern favorites like hummus, baba ganoush and falafel.
Contact Greg Thilmont at email@example.com or 702-383-6266. Follow @gregthilmont on Instagram.