Las Vegas has a diverse ethnic restaurant scene, but unlike larger metropolitan areas we’re typically limited to one or two locations when it comes to more obscure cuisines. And yet, these rare finds are, almost without fail, worth tracking down.
Take Pro Kabob Persian Restaurant, tucked away in a practically vacant complex near the corner of Sahara and Valley View. You have to be actively looking to feed your Afghani fix to find it. The name might say Persian, but this is an authentic, Afghani-run mom-and-pop.
The rest of the name accurately reflects the menu, half of which is dedicated to kabobs. It’s a winning strategy—who doesn’t like skewered meat? None of the proteins (beef, ground beef, chicken and lamb) are radical, but they’re all radically good, especially the beef ($11) and chicken ($9). Well-seasoned with cumin, each is nicely seared, giving way to juicy meat inside. The kabob plates come with your choice of chalaow or qabeli palao (aka white or brown) rice. And while the chalaow, cooked in olive oil, is perfectly solid, the qabeli palao is a pilaf for the ages, rife with raisins and shredded carrots.
Don’t overlook the mantu ($8) or steamed dumplings—tender, dough-swaddled pockets of seasoned beef swimming in a mild yogurt. Sweet tomato sauce strewn with green beans and peas adds contrast, and the results are savory, sweet and tart, so good the restaurant could be renamed Pro Mantu.
Pro Kabob’s condiment game is also strong. You’ll be offered a duo of house-made sauces along with a shaker of sour grape powder; graciously accept them all. The former includes the traditional chatni gashneez—an acidic cilantro/vinegar chutney—and a spicy avocado sauce, while the latter is a tart surprise worth liberally sprinkling across everything. You didn’t even know sour grape powder was your favorite condiment, but after trying Pro Kabob, you’re unlikely to forget it.
Pro Kabob Persian Restaurant 3854 W. Sahara Ave., 702-586-9229. Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.