Why it took me so long to try this place is absolutely beyond my comprehension.
After moving into a new neighborhood in San Francisco earlier this year, I decided to scour yelp and sift through blogs for the best places to eat close by. I stumbled upon a couple of outrageous 5 star reviews for this little Persian restaurant called Lavash. After reading about their amazing entrees and chocolate baghlava, I decided to bookmark this place for an adventurous dinner at some point. Well, ‘at some point’ became 6 months and I can now say I’ve officially wasted 6 months of my life depriving myself of this tasty spectacle.
Lavash is an inconspicuous little restaurant in the Inner Sunset. It has a dark and intimate interior, making it almost impossible to peer in from the outside windows. The restaurant is small and lively although it’s warm atmosphere is unnoticeable from the street. Beware– the wait does get long. In fact, Alex and I almost decided on a new restaurant when our 20-30 minute wait became 45-60 because of a cancelled and then uncancelled reservation. My advice is to definitely make reservations. The restaurant overwhelmingly favors those who do and they are accommodating to any changes.
When we were finally seated, we quickly decided on rose tea, a starter of Shiraz Salad (diced tomato, cucumber, and onion), plus a different combination plate each: Alex had the beef and lamb “Soltani” plate while I ordered the chicken and lamb “Joojeh Soltani” plate.
Once the rose tea and Shiraz salad came, we understood why it took us almost an hour to get seated– it’s worth the wait. The rose tea was delicate, fragrant, and accompanied with honey rose jam and a slice of lime. Both sweet and tart, the tea set the stage for act after act of pure enjoyment. The Shiraz salad was crisp and fresh. Rough chopped cucumber, tomato, and onion, were tossed in a light olive oil and citrus dressing. The crunch of the fresh cucumber and the juiciness of the tomatoes were perfectly in balance with the small amount of pungent diced onion.
Then came the large entree plates. A piece of lavash bread was placed below a heaping portion of basmati rice and meat, with sides of sliced onion, various leafy herbs, and a gorgeously roasted tomato. The meats were phenomenal– deeply marinated in lime juice and spices, seared in an open fire to keep them moist with the perfect amount of salt and umami in every bite. Paired with the roasted tomato and the layer of lavash to soak up the juices, this entree was worthy of applause.
We didn’t want to let the meal end, so we prepared our stomachs for a slice of their chocolate Baghlava. This homemade treat of layer upon sticky layer of honey, chocolate, chopped nuts, and filo dough was one decadent dessert. It was both too rich to eat, but too good to put down– a true battle to the death.
In this case, Lavash won. Big time. Not only will we be returning for an encore, but we’ll prepare ourselves with an early reservation and an empty stomach.