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Rice House of Kabob

The sparse, modern, clean-lined décor; the giant menu posted on a lofty wall; the smiling faces behind a fast-food counter - all properly imply a predominantly take-out joint, but there are plenty of seats for those who wish to dine in the bright environment. Americanized items such as caesar and Greek salads, sautéed vegetables with alfalfa sprouts, and a veggie melt sandwich with Provolone and American cheeses, make their presence on the minimal menu. But rice and kebabs are the calling cards here and are immersed in Persian influences. Or at least immersed in sumac, which lent its sprightly astrigency to the three grilled meats featured in a Super Combo Kabob: moist cubes of chicken, juicy hunks of beef tenderloin, a long sausagelike strip of ground beef enhanced with spirited spicing and minced onions (kubideh), and two wedges of grilled, unseasoned tomato. Of course, these are also served individually, as is a well-marinated swordfish kebab. All come with choice of flatbread, salad, or rice, and prices range from $6 to $8 if paired with the bread, $7 to $9 if served with either of the last two options. The other specialty of the house is rice, which comes prepared three ways: zereshk, with cranberrylike barberries and saffron; baghali, with dill and baby lima beans; and adas, with lentils, saffron, and golden raisins. A main course portion goes for $4.99, and is, quite frankly, boring; better to try this as a side ($1.99).

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