Zaytoon Market and Restaurant bills itself as Mediterranean, but this quaint café specializes in Persian food, serving some of the greatest hits of Iranian cuisine.
You could create a satisfying meal solely with appetizers ($3.99). Kashke bademjaan is a distinctive fried eggplant dip—its charred taste and topping of fried mint and oil makes everything sing. Masto khiar is a classic yogurt and cucumber dip, with a nice creamy-to-crunchy contrast laced with dill. Fresh, delicious Iranian bread accompanies both dips, thin half moons of dough crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, sprinkled with sesame seeds to create something tear-apart good.
Kebabs are served with saffron-studded basmati rice and a lovely grilled tomato. Mix the rice with the pat of butter and fresh onion on the plate and sprinkle some lemon over it to add more depth. Koobideh ($9.99) is the standard beef kebab, juicy and nicely spiced.
Things pick up with the specialty dishes. Fesenjaan ($14.99) features chunks of chicken stewed in a pomegranate-walnut sauce for a taste as unique as it sounds. When you’re in the mood for something a little more specific than “Mediterranean,” Zaytoon is worth a try.
Zaytoon 3655 S. Durango Drive, 702-685-1875. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.