Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Attari Part II: The Secret of Ab-Goosht

On my previous visit to Attari Sandwich Shop, I noticed an item on the menu, Ab-Goosht, that was only available on Fridays. I was intrigued by this mysterious lamb dish so went back last Friday for a late lunch to sample it for myself. (Photo above)

When I arrived past 3 pm for a late lunch, I was surprised to find the courtyard packed and most of the inside tables occupied. I dutifully ordered the Ab-Goosht and then waited for the mystery to reveal itself.

The Ab-Goosht is $10.50 and is served with pita bread, torshi (pickles), onions and sabzi (leafy herb). Ab-Goosht is a Persian lamb stew made with chickpeas, onions, potatoes and spices. After cooking, the solid lamb and vegetables are strained from the broth and mashed up into a thick chunky puree, which was served alongside the broth, as well as the chunk of onion, pickles and greens/herbs.

I was not sure how to eat it in the traditional manner, so improvised. I placed some pickles, greens, mashed lamb puree, and onions into a pita and then drizzled some of the soup in to give it some juicy flavor. I then ate the pita sandwiches and the soup separately. Whether traditional or not, I enjoyed using the broth as both a soup and as a sauce for the sandwich.

The broth had a deep rich flavor, from all the lamb, onion, chickpeas etc that had been cooking in it, and so the soup was delicious. As much as I love lamb, I found the sandwich component only OK. Pureed, almost pate consistency is not my favorite way to consume lamb. I preferred the tongue sandwich from my prior visit.

Ab-Goosht appeared to be a clear draw for Attari as there were people waiting for tables when I was done with my meal, despite the late hour for lunch or early hour for dinner. Ab-Goosht is traditional Persian home cooking, which likely accounts for some of the draw. If you are a fan of pate sandwiches, then this is the lunch for you.

Photos: Lamb meat puree (above) and soup broth (below)

Attari Sandwich Shop: 1388 Westwood Blvd @ Wilkins, Westwood. Telephone: (310) 441-5488. No Website. Closed on Mondays.

1 comment:

  1. Attari is probably my favorite Persian restaurant in Westwood, though, admittedly, I've never eaten their ab-goosht. Next time, try the ash and Kashk-e-Bademjan. Those are two incredible dishes.