Several of my Persian friends used to recommend Shamshiri as their favorite Persian restaurant in Westwood. Previous experiences were also positive. But tonight, I probably had the worst Persian meal of my life there.
The restaurant was about 1/3 full, but the service was abysmal. We had to request our drinks 4 times before it was brought to us, with no apology. Several employees were just hanging out, not doing anything.
My friend ordered the $17 mesquite grilled rack of lamb, which was almost inedible. While the flavor of the rub was good, there were huge portions of hard fat still attached, and most of the tough meat pieces took about 2 minutes to chew down into a swallowable consistency. I couldn't even cut some of them with a steak knife. This was truly insulting, trying to pass it for one of the most expensive items on the menu.
The bamieh stew was just as bad. It's described as okra, onion, mushroom and potatoes in a saffron tomato sauce. I got it with the veal, which was really nondescript. The sauce lacked any flavor or aroma of saffron, and tasted like canned spaghetti sauce. The okra was overcooked and seemed previously frozen. I can make a better pasta sauce out of a jar in 5 minutes.
Even the damn rice was too wet and mushy!
You've been warned.