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Familiar fare is enlivened with surprising flair

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This week, dear readers, eaters and vicarious culinary adventure-seekers, you’ll be visiting a fanciful and intriguing place where flavors are as familiar as they are strange.

I’m talking about a locale where the commonplace and exotic delightfully wrangle on your plate, and the only thing missing from sitting and supping like a sultan is a pair of pointy slippers. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m suggesting you take a trip to a strip mall near Polaris.

Specifically, you’ll be heading to Noora’s Persian Cuisine.

There you’ll find fresh, healthful and utterly delicious kebabs and dip-propelled regimens that closely resemble what you get at Turkish restaurants.

The primary exception is a sumac-starring powder (think mild paprika that tickles your tongue like lime juice), which is used a major seasoning.

Noora’s is upbeat and cheery inside, with colorful, traditional Persian-style tablecloths and a semi-private, sultanic mini-chamber.

There you can belly up to knee-high tables while casually relaxing on a low, raised-platform “floor” amid a flurry of oriental rugs and pillows.

As for service, I wouldn’t call it super-efficient, but I would say it’s friendly and helpful while decoding a menu rife with unusual-sounding entries such as Mirza Ghasemi and Mast-o-khiar.

Those two appetizers might be a challenge to pronounce, but they’re easy to eat, and both appear on the highly recommended Noora Platter ($12).

Served with Noora’s dimpled, puffy and toasty house flatbread (like a hybrid between Turkish pide and Middle Eastern pita), the platter’s a four-time winner with its quartet of disparate palate-openers.

Its lineup includes the aforementioned mizra ghasemi (a smoky, tangy and phenomenal warm dip of roasted tomatoes, garlic and eggplant that converted every eggplant-hater at my table); mast-o-khiar (a tart, bright and thick tzatziki-like blend of yogurt and cucumbers popping with mint); a chunky and almost Russian Olivieh salad (mayo-bound diced potato and egg with effective counterpoints of pickle, leek and green peas); plus a rich, creamy and seriously smooth hummus.

Noora’s killer Grill Platter ($25, feeds two committed bingers) is the kebab analog of the starter sampler.
Served with fluffy, saffron-sprinkled basmati rice, house bread and grilled veggies were two skewers of kefta-like beef and chicken logs (Koobideh), sliced steak (Barg) and marinated chicken chunks.

All were tender, juicy, attractively charred and zingy with that sumac seasoning.

While that was a standout, the considerably more uncommon Joojeh kebabs ($13) stood even taller.

This was another mammoth platter – only of succulent Cornish game hens (think chickens shrunk in size, magnified in flavor) – given the same beautiful treatment as above.

Although you have to navigate through a few teeny bones in the conveniently disassembled bird pieces, man, is it worth it.

The hits continued with an insanely delicious Lamb Shank ($15, plated with a shoulder-shrug of a Greek-like salad plus that good rice).

Served with a bowl of fragrant roasting juices I would happily down shots of all day, it was a mighty staff of highly aromatic, falling-off-the-bone meat whose deeply developed flavors were partially leavened with a finishing touch of orange.

Characteristic of Noora’s terrific fare, it’s like an old favorite enlivened with unexpected flair.



 

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Familiar fare is enlivened with surprising flair

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Tim Johnson/Alive
(Above) Joojeh kebab (Cornish game hens) and (next slide) Noora’s Grill Platter (kebab-athon entree) from Noora’s Persian Cuisine.
By

This week, dear readers, eaters and vicarious culinary adventure-seekers, you’ll be visiting a fanciful and intriguing place where flavors are as familiar as they are strange.

I’m talking about a locale where the commonplace and exotic delightfully wrangle on your plate, and the only thing missing from sitting and supping like a sultan is a pair of pointy slippers. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m suggesting you take a trip to a strip mall near Polaris.

Specifically, you’ll be heading to Noora’s Persian Cuisine.

There you’ll find fresh, healthful and utterly delicious kebabs and dip-propelled regimens that closely resemble what you get at Turkish restaurants.

The primary exception is a sumac-starring powder (think mild paprika that tickles your tongue like lime juice), which is used a major seasoning.

Noora’s is upbeat and cheery inside, with colorful, traditional Persian-style tablecloths and a semi-private, sultanic mini-chamber.

There you can belly up to knee-high tables while casually relaxing on a low, raised-platform “floor” amid a flurry of oriental rugs and pillows.

As for service, I wouldn’t call it super-efficient, but I would say it’s friendly and helpful while decoding a menu rife with unusual-sounding entries such as Mirza Ghasemi and Mast-o-khiar.

Those two appetizers might be a challenge to pronounce, but they’re easy to eat, and both appear on the highly recommended Noora Platter ($12).

Served with Noora’s dimpled, puffy and toasty house flatbread (like a hybrid between Turkish pide and Middle Eastern pita), the platter’s a four-time winner with its quartet of disparate palate-openers.

Its lineup includes the aforementioned mizra ghasemi (a smoky, tangy and phenomenal warm dip of roasted tomatoes, garlic and eggplant that converted every eggplant-hater at my table); mast-o-khiar (a tart, bright and thick tzatziki-like blend of yogurt and cucumbers popping with mint); a chunky and almost Russian Olivieh salad (mayo-bound diced potato and egg with effective counterpoints of pickle, leek and green peas); plus a rich, creamy and seriously smooth hummus.

Noora’s killer Grill Platter ($25, feeds two committed bingers) is the kebab analog of the starter sampler.
Served with fluffy, saffron-sprinkled basmati rice, house bread and grilled veggies were two skewers of kefta-like beef and chicken logs (Koobideh), sliced steak (Barg) and marinated chicken chunks.

All were tender, juicy, attractively charred and zingy with that sumac seasoning.

While that was a standout, the considerably more uncommon Joojeh kebabs ($13) stood even taller.

This was another mammoth platter – only of succulent Cornish game hens (think chickens shrunk in size, magnified in flavor) – given the same beautiful treatment as above.

Although you have to navigate through a few teeny bones in the conveniently disassembled bird pieces, man, is it worth it.

The hits continued with an insanely delicious Lamb Shank ($15, plated with a shoulder-shrug of a Greek-like salad plus that good rice).

Served with a bowl of fragrant roasting juices I would happily down shots of all day, it was a mighty staff of highly aromatic, falling-off-the-bone meat whose deeply developed flavors were partially leavened with a finishing touch of orange.

Characteristic of Noora’s terrific fare, it’s like an old favorite enlivened with unexpected flair.



 

Comments

Menu

Familiar fare is enlivened with surprising flair

By

This week, dear readers, eaters and vicarious culinary adventure-seekers, you’ll be visiting a fanciful and intriguing place where flavors are as familiar as they are strange.

I’m talking about a locale where the commonplace and exotic delightfully wrangle on your plate, and the only thing missing from sitting and supping like a sultan is a pair of pointy slippers. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m suggesting you take a trip to a strip mall near Polaris.

Specifically, you’ll be heading to Noora’s Persian Cuisine.

There you’ll find fresh, healthful and utterly delicious kebabs and dip-propelled regimens that closely resemble what you get at Turkish restaurants.

The primary exception is a sumac-starring powder (think mild paprika that tickles your tongue like lime juice), which is used a major seasoning.

Noora’s is upbeat and cheery inside, with colorful, traditional Persian-style tablecloths and a semi-private, sultanic mini-chamber.

There you can belly up to knee-high tables while casually relaxing on a low, raised-platform “floor” amid a flurry of oriental rugs and pillows.

As for service, I wouldn’t call it super-efficient, but I would say it’s friendly and helpful while decoding a menu rife with unusual-sounding entries such as Mirza Ghasemi and Mast-o-khiar.

Those two appetizers might be a challenge to pronounce, but they’re easy to eat, and both appear on the highly recommended Noora Platter ($12).

Served with Noora’s dimpled, puffy and toasty house flatbread (like a hybrid between Turkish pide and Middle Eastern pita), the platter’s a four-time winner with its quartet of disparate palate-openers.

Its lineup includes the aforementioned mizra ghasemi (a smoky, tangy and phenomenal warm dip of roasted tomatoes, garlic and eggplant that converted every eggplant-hater at my table); mast-o-khiar (a tart, bright and thick tzatziki-like blend of yogurt and cucumbers popping with mint); a chunky and almost Russian Olivieh salad (mayo-bound diced potato and egg with effective counterpoints of pickle, leek and green peas); plus a rich, creamy and seriously smooth hummus.

Noora’s killer Grill Platter ($25, feeds two committed bingers) is the kebab analog of the starter sampler.
Served with fluffy, saffron-sprinkled basmati rice, house bread and grilled veggies were two skewers of kefta-like beef and chicken logs (Koobideh), sliced steak (Barg) and marinated chicken chunks.

All were tender, juicy, attractively charred and zingy with that sumac seasoning.

While that was a standout, the considerably more uncommon Joojeh kebabs ($13) stood even taller.

This was another mammoth platter – only of succulent Cornish game hens (think chickens shrunk in size, magnified in flavor) – given the same beautiful treatment as above.

Although you have to navigate through a few teeny bones in the conveniently disassembled bird pieces, man, is it worth it.

The hits continued with an insanely delicious Lamb Shank ($15, plated with a shoulder-shrug of a Greek-like salad plus that good rice).

Served with a bowl of fragrant roasting juices I would happily down shots of all day, it was a mighty staff of highly aromatic, falling-off-the-bone meat whose deeply developed flavors were partially leavened with a finishing touch of orange.

Characteristic of Noora’s terrific fare, it’s like an old favorite enlivened with unexpected flair.



 

Comments