Newhall may be widely known as Hollywood’s Wild West, but Persia Lounge has had no trouble mixing things up with flare from The Middle East. Fall-off-the bone meats, rich hummus, saffron rice and seemingly endless lavash meld with belly dancing, hookah and live music for a holistic cultural experience. As little ol’ Downtown Newhall continues to expand and attract more attention from ‘Mainland LA’, it’s places like Persia Lounge that are bringing the area an elevated allure, not to mention great taste.
Persia Lounge’s humble setup speaks to its authenticity. An inviting, minimalist dining room wraps around the restaurant’s small enclosed kitchen and leads to the lounge in the back, where hookah, music and dancing proceed to run the show. Wall décor pays homage to ancient Middle Eastern décor, and even has some exposed brick painted on. But it’s the food you’re after, and it comes in heaps at Persia Lounge.
Nobody is going to leave here hungry. The inquiry is confirmed as the appetizer combo arrives with enough lavash bread to carb-load for a marathon. Creamy hummus and masto khiar [yogurt cucumber dip], shirazi salad with diced cucumber and tomato, and light Persian potato set the tone for a menu with just enough familiar territory for everyone to enjoy, and an abundance of potential for adventurous palates to seek new discovery.
Meat is clearly a treasured entity at Persia Lounge, with every dish rich in bold flavor and distinct identity. Take the baghale polo with lamb shank, which you could tear apart with your fingers if you wanted, served in an herbaceous tomato broth that magnifies the flavor profile further. Or the zereshk polo with chicken, a spectacular chicken kabob that seems like it’s been marinating for ages, with saffron rice and the fascinating addition of sour barberry. Then there’s your classic shish kabob, with juicy chunks of char-grilled beef.
If you’re looking for true Halal, this is one of the only shows in town. You’ll also be able to find beers and wines from Lebanon and Armenia, in addition to the labels we all know and love.
Persia Lounge and Restaurant is located at 24328 Main St, Newhall, CA 91321. Open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Tue – Thu, 11 a.m. – midnight Fri – Sat and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. Closed Mon. Average out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$40/person. For more information call (661) 259-4100 or visit Persia-Lounge.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.