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Jonathan Gold Eats Dizi, Iranian Lamb Stew, at Nersses Vanak in Glendale

It's best enjoyed after some DIY preparation.

Nersses Vanak
Nersses Vanak

This week, Jonathan Gold visits Nersses Vanak in Glendale, an Iranian restaurant  that specializes in dizi, Iranian lamb and chickpea stew. The cold weather-appropriate dish is best enjoyed when the final steps of preparation are done yourself. The Goldster explains that the dish is served in "chubby cast-aluminum pots with stout metal pestles lodged jauntily inside." After dumping the broth into a bowl:

Then turn your attention to the aluminum pot. The round disk at the bottom of the pestle has been beveled into more or less the shape of a top; roll it around the bottom of the pot in an undulating circular motion until the meat, legumes, potatoes and aromatics have been crushed into a coarse paste about the consistency of refried beans.

Spoon some of the mash out onto your plate, sprinkle on a bit of salt and sumac, and eat it as is. Moisten it with a spoonful or two of broth if you like. Tear off a scrap of the hot flatbread, tuck in a bit of it with some herbs and pretend that you are eating an Iranian taco. [LAT]

The Times critic enjoys the comforting stew, and also recommends the ground beef kebab and eggplant dip.

Nersess Vanak

6524 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91201 (818) 550-7800