Get the quality of white table cloth Persian restaurants from London to Los Angeles at an affordable, no-frills price at Shahs of Kabob in South Miami.
Open about six months, this small, mostly to-go spot on Sunset Drive has an open kitchen where you can watch the theater of kebabs being broiled on long sword-like metal skewers. The air wafts with the enticing aroma of meat over flames, and Persian music adds to the atmosphere.
It started in a nearby mosque mostly built on donations with profits from kebabs getting it completed. Amin Ebrahimi met Iranian-born Farzad Norouzishad, who grills the kebabs, at a nearby mosque, where they built up with the help of donations. They called themselves the two kings or shahs of kabobs (the Arabic spelling). Ebrahimi was born and grew up in Miami in an Iranian family that entertained for large gatherings. The duo soon partnered with chef Mohammadali Asgari, the third king who specializes in catering for large groups and twice cooked for United Nations Iranian delegates.
Start With These Dishes
Try the thick, smoky kashk bademajan eggplant spread, served with papery triangles of lavash bread. Slices of eggplant are pan-fried and mashed with ground walnuts and garlic with a touch of turmeric and lots of dried mint. It is topped with kashk (yogurt whey) and garnished with thin, crispy fried wisps of onion.
There’s also hummus dusted in paprika and most-o-khiar. This is thick, homemade yogurt with chopped cucumber and mint folded in.
Share These Dishes
Persians eat communally and so should your group. Order the family kebab platter that serves up to four—the Shahs family platter serves up to seven. Both include skewers off the sword.
There’s koobideh made from a mixture of ground beef and lamb seasoned with spices and onion juice. There’s also the option for joojeh (chicken breast) and barg, slices of fillet mignon marinated in olive oil, saffron and onions. The kebabs come with a plate of red onion quarters and fresh basil, pita and yogurt salad.
The crowning glory is the zereshk polo, steamed basmati. Some grains are stained deep yellow with a solution of saffron pounded to a paste with hot water. The rice is garnished with dried sour cherries, tiny tart barberries and slivered pistachios.
Daily khoresh stews include fesenjoon. Chicken chunks are simmered in a sauce of tart-sweet pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts. Gheymeh is beef stewed with yellow split peas and dried limes for subtle sourness.
On weekends go for ghormeh sabzi. This is slow cooked beef with kidney beans, spinach, parsley and cilantro. It may be fast-casual, but with the hospitality the partners show guests, you’ll feel like royalty, even if the dishes come in aluminum foil containers.
Save Room For Dessert
Give the roulettes a try. Light, moist, thin slices of cake are rolled up jelly-roll style with vanilla or chocolate whipped cream.
Contact Linda Bladholm at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.
If You Go
Shahs of Kabob
Address: 5975 Sunset Drive, South Miami
Contact: 786-365-8953, shahsofkabob.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Prices: Appetizers $5, wraps $7, salads $12, stews $12, kebabs $12-$20, platters $40-$60
F.Y.I. All meats are halal. No alcohol. Full Persian menu is available for catering.