The office-packed Stocker Square has palm trees carefully positioned between regrettably peach buildings and blue-green railings that were all the rage back in 1989. Shamshiri is folded into a corner of this corporate oasis, and tries stoically to pay no attention to its surroundings; inside is a pyramid skylight, patterned stained glass, a potted tree, and paintings of Persian maids.
Shamshiri is where you go when you want something Persian but aren't in the mood for the Carousels or the Raffi's; their kitchen feels a little more comfortable. You start in on the plate of pita slices with butter and white onion.
I admit to not being a usual fan of ash (Persian soups), but the ash-e-joe is very dilly and minty and leafy, with vegetables, lentils, barley, pinto beans, and topped with kashk (a whipped whey, which Shamshiri does well). It's thinner than you'd expect.
They have koobideh and kabobs, of course, and their plates of it are piled high enough to make your stomach cry mercy, but try the adas polo: chicken baked until falling into shreds and served in a dish full of thin sauce. Tiny slivers of tomato and sliced onion lie next to it, probably for color, and there's a large plate of lentils and basmati rice mixed together with raisins and dates*. The sensation of all the juxtaposed flavors--tender chicken, sweet and firm dates, rice with broth--is sublime, which is a word I usually don't like to use.
Their iced coffee is nicely sharp. Vaguely insulted, it shrugs off the prodigious amount of cream and sugar I add to it.
All of this? Less than twelve dollars as a lunch special.
The Westwood location has a greater sense of self, with vibrantly red walls and sultry artwork.
* Dr. Jones: "It's a date... you eat 'em!"
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Glendale/Atwater/Eagle Rock, Persian )