Does every big restaurant in the kebab-intensive blocks of Westwood’s “Tehrangeles” have the same menu? Is there a zoning ordinance that mandates barg kebabs and the insanely sour pickles called torshi, skewered chicken and the thick soup ash, alps of basmati rice and arm-long cylinders of the grilled ground-beef koobideh? Baran, the latest and perhaps the sleekest of the neighborhood’s palaces, may be tricked out like the swankiest restaurant in Qom, all burnished copper and gleaming varnish and spotlight examples of Persian calligraphy, but it too is a redoubt of lamb kebabs and beef kebabs and chicken kebabs; grilled lamb chops that rank with the sweetest, tenderest lamb in town; and tah dig, toasted rice crusts, topped with seriously tart stewed greens. If you are a fan of polos, like the gigantic, elaborate, saffron-gilded rice dishes associated with Iranian holidays, or the zereshk polo, made with barberries, which is formidable, and the polo made with sour cherries like a scoop of Baskin-Robbins cherry vanilla ice cream brought to screaming, savory life, then you will be very happy with the standard. 1916 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, (310) 475-4500.

—Jonathan Gold

LA Weekly