I had a lunch meeting today in Woodland Hills, so we ended up eating at Shirin. Shirin serves traditional Persian and Mediterranean cuisine—kabobs and other skewered meats.
The restaurant gives off the air of formality and dignity, and most of the patrons at that hour were nearby business people. But at the same time I could also see casually dressed diners as well, so the restaurant is not particularly pompous or stuffy.
They have a modest lunch menu, but everything is reasonably priced (everything less than $10). I ordered the boneless lamb kabobs. The waiter even asked my preference on how I wanted them cooked, which I always consider a sign of good cooking craftsmanship. Only quality restaurants will ask how you want your meat cooked.
The waiter also offered the option of soup or salad, of which I chose the latter. The salad was rather substantial, with cucumber slices, tomato slices, grated carrot, and corn in addition to lettuce. It was topped with a light dressing, somewhat of a cross between ranch and tzatziki. It was good, and I was especially impressed by the corn which was sweet and added a little more flavor impact.
The rest of the meal came on a rather large, square plate. It might not look like a great deal of meat, but it was very filling. The lamb kabob was cooked just as I had asked, medium, and was very flavorful. The spices presented a blend of the exotic and familiar that danced around in my mouth. It had a strong lamb flavor without being overly gamy as some lamb can be.
The rice was a typical basmati, with some saffron basmati layered over the top, which I consumed along with the pickles, onions, and broiled tomato. By the end of the meal I was very satisfied. Had the lunch meeting not been a success, I could have at least savored the meal which now was just icing on the cake.
Some other notes on Shirin:
- They had a decorative hookah inset in the wall across from me, and I wondered if anyone has ever tried to smoke it.
- They constantly play music throughout the restaurant, and I was tickled when I heard recorder versions of The Beatles "Yesterday" and Nino Rota's "The Godfather Theme."
21826 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364