Persian Gulp

Taste the flavors of Caspian without paying for airfare

I called my L.A. friends to admit that they were right, Uzbekistan does exist. They took the opportunity to taunt me about the great weather they were enjoying -- 80 degrees compared to my Valley's scorching 109. I sure wasn't suffering though, I assured them, relaxed in my air-conditioned house, snacking on cartons of leftover shirazi salad (chopped cucumber, tomato and onion in olive oil and lemon), with a plate of deeply peppered gyros dipped in yogurt. It was hard to fret about the temperature while I still had fond memories of Caspian's Persian ice cream, or zoolbia, sort of a sugar-yogurt fritter soaked in syrup. And what were they doing, I wondered?

Not the stuff for timid appetites: Caspian's plentiful platters.
Jackie Mercandetti
Not the stuff for timid appetites: Caspian's plentiful platters.

Details

Kashk-o bademjan$4.95
Koobideh kebab$8.95
Ghormeh sabzi$8.95
Cornish game hen$10.95
Olovieh$5.50
Zoolbia$1.95

480-368-9797. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Dinner, Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.

7000 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale

They were stuck in traffic, crawling across the asphalt in a sea of shimmering cars as they struggled to make their way home after a long day in the office. Those wacky California folks. They may have their Uzbekistan restaurant, but I've got my Caspian, and that's very special to me indeed.

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