Friday, March 1, 2013

Tash

Tash is the Persian word for "flame" and one of the newest restaurants to open along my beloved Barracks Row.  Serving Iranian and Mediterranean cuisine from a wood-burning brick oven and a giant open-flame charcoal grill, Tash is brought to us by husband-and-wife owners Nariman (Nari) Modanlou and Vanessa Lim. Closest Metro is Eastern Market.

Iranian-born Nari is a 10-year veteran of Moby Dick House of Kabob and actually owns its Ashburn location. Tash is a “totally different experience” from Moby Dick, with table service and artful Persian-inspired decor instead of a fast-casual atmosphere. The menu, of course, centers around kabobs but also offers a wider range of Mediterranean-inspired options.

View of the bar
A look inside the piroshki.
We went for dinner on this cold Friday night and arrived early enough to take advantage of the Happy Hour, where all drinks were half-off.  Our server, Brandon, greeted us warmly and took our drink orders while we looked over the menu.  We decided to get a couple appetizers to start and chose the Olive Dip, a lovely mixture of chopped olives and crushed walnut with slightly spicy tomato garlic sauce served with fresh naan.  The flavors popped in this dish and awoke my palate.  The portion was generous and perfect for sharing.  Additionally, Keith ate the Crispy Piroshki, little fried dumplings filled with seasoned ground lamb, cheese and mushroom.  He found them to be a bit oily, but very tasty and comforting.

For my main entree, I chose the Saffron Lemon Chicken that arrived as tender cubes of chicken breast marinated in saffron, yogurt, and onion, and served with saffron rice.  Small bowls of tabouleh salad and mint yogurt sauce accompanied the dish.  The chicken were cooked perfectly - juicy, flavorful - and were overall absolutely delicious.  The lemon and yogurt seasoning were delightful and accentuated by the mint yogurt sauce.  Keith ordered the Tenderloin Lamb Kabob, which were cubes of tenderloin lamb marinated in fresh mint and yogurt, served with a dill lima bean rice.  It also came with tabouleh salad and mint yogurt sauce on the side.  Other places tend to overcook the meat when prepared in this manner, but not Tash.  Keith found the lamb to be tender, fresh, and full of grilled flavor.  I tasted his rice and liked the dill seasoning, whereas he preferred my saffron rice.

For our first time dining at Tash, we were highly impressed.  Food is fresh, unique, and satisfying and almost received a perfect score of 5, but I held out slightly as my saffron rice was not perfect and I want to try more items on the menu before making a definitive statement.  The service is friendly and the atmosphere is colorful and warm with many families and patrons eager to take advantage of the Happy Hour deals.  I look forward to returning to Tash regularly.

Total Rating: 4.43
Food: 4.5, Price: 4.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Olive Dip
chopped olive and crushed walnut with slightly spicy tomato garlic sauce
served with fresh naan

Saffron Lemon Chicken
tender cubes of chicken breast marinated in saffron,
yogurt, and onion, served with saffron rice
and tabouleh salad with mint yogurt sauce

Plus Keith ate:
Crispy Piroshki
filled with seasoned ground lamb, cheese and mushroom

Tenderloin Lamb Kabob
tender cubes of tenderloin lamb marinated in fresh mint
and yogurt, served with dill lima bean rice
and tabouleh salad with mint yogurt sauce


Tash on Urbanspoon

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