Darya Kabob

Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

The austere decor of Sterling's Darya Kabob gives little indication of its culinary charms. But the packed tables, filled mostly with men speaking Farsi, is a good indication that this is no ordinary kabob place. Although many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries have versions of grilled meat cooked on skewers, this Iranian version is one of the best. The chunks of marinated chicken breast meat are cut to look like flowers; the slices of beef tenderloin known as chenjeh were buttery soft and rich with flavor. The salad shirazi -- a combination of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, parsley and lemon sauce -- and the must-o-khiar (cucumbers in yogurt) served as side dishes are the perfect complement. The pita bread, baked in a clay oven, was chewy, slightly charred and a great foundation for the juicy meats.

--Nancy Lewis (April 27, 2006)