the food of a shah, and how to make tahdig.

I was so hungry, I forgot to take a photo until the table was half finished.  Haha!

Last weekend, Jules and I drove down to Los Angeles to check out our wedding venue and spend some time with some of my favorite family members.  We didn’t even have an agenda, other than, “go see wedding venue on Saturday”, so I didn’t do a carefully planned out restaurant itinerary like I would have liked, but on our last day, my cousin suggested that instead of a traditional eggs & mimosas-type brunch, we go and try out Raffi’s in Glendale.  Since LA has one of the biggest Persian and Armenian populations in the US, I was sure the food was going to be excellent.  (I swear, the Shahs of Sunset TV series would be far more interesting if they did more food scenes and less bickering.)

I apologize in advance for the lack of good photos, as I was completely unprepared to be blogging about this place, but it was so delicious, I had to mention it here!

First off, Raffi’s is HUGE.  I’m talking, if you were having a party and had to invite everyone including cousins and second cousins, their kids, and those random friends of your parents that you’d offend if you didn’t invite…this place could hold them all.  No problem.  The indoor patio alone has a capacity of over 300.  Onto the food….

When you’re not that versed at making your own, you see Tahdig on the menu, you order it.  This is Tahdig with Khoresht Gheymeh, a stew made of chunks of beef, split peas, fried onion and eggplant.

My dish was the Koobideh kabob, otherwise known as a “luleh kabob”.  For a mere $13, I got these two lovely pieces of skewered kabob atop a mountain of rice so high that even this Asian couldn’t conquer in one sitting.  Just a note, all of the kabob plates are huge and can probably be split.

The end of our meal was mint tea and faloodeh, a Persian ice made with rosewater and vermicelli noodles.  A little strange with the noodle-mouthfeel at first, but absolutely delicious in flavor.  I love the use of rosewater and orange blossom water in anything, and always keep bottles of each in my pantry.  I will have to try making this faloodeh when it gets warm (if that ever happens in San Francisco!).
To get this delicious yumminess in person:
Raffi’s Place
211 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205
Here’s the deal:  I’ve been obsessed with tahdig for years, but I had heard so many times how difficult and tricky it can be to make at home.  I’ve only had it at restaurants, but after this last meal at Raffi’s, I really wanted to try making it on my own.  I’d attempted it once before, to disastrous results, but this recipe was easy to follow.
adapted from My Persian Kitchen
2 cups of basmati rice
2 tbsp of yogurt
1 pinch of saffron
1 pinch of sugar
Canola or vegetable oil
You will also need:
mortar & pestle
non-stick pot
For the rest of the recipe, click here.  This will get you a mound of fluffy Persian rice, and the crispy layer of crusted rice that is tahdig.  Happy cooking!


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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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