Rumi’s Kitchen Redux: Beloved Persian restaurant joins the big leagues


All photos by Becky Stein

I first met Ali Mesghali some 15 years ago when he and his family ran a Persian restaurant called Shamshiri in a decrepit shopping strip set hard against I-285.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler writes about all cuisines.

As I recall the evening, we wandered into an empty dining room and waited for a few moments for someone to appear. I eventually walked into the kitchen calling, “Helloooo, helloooo,” like a nosy neighbor. Mesghali, who appeared to be running a one-man show that evening, apologetically seated us at a table set with a few crumbs from the previous occupant’s bread.

But when our bread arrived — a blistering-hot naan fresh from the tandoor, served with green herbs, cheese and walnuts — all was forgiven. This restaurant didn’t seem ready for a full review, but it was a good tip for folks who like to explore promising international restaurants and don’t mind a poorly graded parking lot and the spare breadcrumb.

Mesghali …

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