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Monday, March 21, 2011

Rice, You've Been BeDazzled

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 2:24 PM

click to enlarge Lavash's zereshk polo comes with basmati rice studded with barberries and raisins, a bit of edible Persian bling. - CARINA OST
  • Carina Ost
  • Lavash's zereshk polo comes with basmati rice studded with barberries and raisins, a bit of edible Persian bling.

In these days of diamond-encrusted smartphones, BeDazzled jeans, and even Vajazilling, who wants something that is un-bling'd? Not SFoodie. Take rice, which is otherwise our favorite staple. It's been stripped down so much it's little more than white, with almost zero nutrients, and about as boring as Top Chef: All-Stars. And brown rice? Boring in the same way that hippies are.

Then, the other day, we found ourselves starving in the Inner Sunset, and thought we wanted kabobs. Meat on a stick is never boring (admit it, even you fell for Mary when she said there should be more meat on sticks). Naturally, we went to Lavash , thinking we knew exactly what we wanted. But one menu item in particular blinded us: jeweled rice. Hells yes, there were even two options.

Zereshk polo ($14.95), basmati rice with barberries, raisins, and sautéed onion, served with chicken spiced with cumin, turmeric, and saffron, was the dish we chose. Although the adas polo (14.95), with rice mixed with lentils, cooked dates, orange zest, and cinnamon, looked just as good.

Now, like our favorite fictional foodie, Grace Adler, who went to see A Raisin in the Sun thinking there would be raisins in it, SFoodie loves raisins. Couple them with zereshk, what Persian cooks call barberries, and they are phenomenal. The tartness of the barberries brings out the sweetness of the raisins, and the dish is just so much fun to look at and so unbelievably delicious. Saffron is the world's most expensive spice for a reason, since it can help plain old rice go from drab to fab, a delicious makeover. Hey rice, you've been bling'd!

Lavash: 511 Irving (at Sixth Ave.), 664-5555.

Read more from Carina Ost at CarinaOst.com. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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Carina Ost

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