Kabobbing at Tajrish in Marina Del Rey
If you are stickler for restaurant menu clarity, Tajrish in Marina Del Rey will make you want to hurl your baklava across the room. For instance, there are chunks of filet mignon, marinated and char-broiled. There are also chunks of filet mignon, skewered, marinated, and char-broiled. The latter would appear to be kabobs, but then so are the former, we think. Rice may be substituted for salad at no extra cost. However, if you want half a side of salad and half a side of rice, you pay a dollar more.
Of course, none of this matters at all. Located on the edge of Venice, Tajrish is a strip mall Persian joint, on many nights emptier than a high school in July, the pink tablecloth-draped tables bare and clean. Yet, as you stumble in, curious and hungry, the proprietor seated at the register grins. If Tajrish were a high school, you'd think he was baked to a lavash-like crisp, but he's only enjoying his work. And what work it is.
We don't remember which filet mignon we ordered, but it was fantastic: strips of luscious stuff, pink and juicy in the middle. Served as it was, on a massive plate heaped with buttery white rice pilaf and a mound of salad greens, it was the kind of meat you make yourself eat very slowly, not just because it's very good and deserves to be savored, but because it would be too easy to eat it too quickly. Tender enough to gum, if you happened to be a baby or a toothless oldster, and yet incredibly rich and flavorful, blessed with plenty of salt and a lashing of garlic, this filet, whichever one it was ($16.99 for the former, $17.99 for the latter), requires careful pacing.
The meal begins with broad toasted pieces of lavash served with radishes, butter, and mint sprigs. A few cold Budweisers are good with all this. And order some hummus ($3.99) if you must. But do not allow yourself to be waylaid by distractions like appetizers or chicken. We contemplated ordering the hen, but our server smiled and shook his head when we asked if it would be a good idea. The filet, he said twice. Okay, we responded, but which one? He smiled and shrugged.
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