Saffron Food Mart
Persian restaurants are not thick on the ground in the South Bay, but even if they were, a place like Saffron Food Market in Torrance would still stand out from the pack. This hybrid grocery store-restaurant run by a husband-and-wife team offers a full menu from a lunch counter in back—our go-to is the soft and fork-tender chicken koobideh, which along with rice and a grilled tomato, includes lavash, raw onion, packets of sumac, and pats of foiled-wrapped butter (all these condiments are a good sign). Persian stews and soup tend to rotate daily, but if you see the barley and lentil one topped with a dollop of sour yogurt, don't hesitate. If you're not taking your order to-go, there's a quiet seating area next to the store's bakery case—convenient for grabbing a wedge of baklava on the way out.
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