The Kabob Hutt

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Posted December 3, 2008 in Eats

Some foods are difficult; some foods are simple. French cooking is stereotypically complicated—Bécasse aux bowels, for instance, a woodcock casserole that requires various stages of patience, is hardly simple fare—and a look into a Japanese Bento box proves that Western European snoots aren’t the only culture that can do ornate cooking. Meat and potatoes, a largely British import that still sustains America to this day, are simple. Yet, some regional cuisines can be both. Like Persian food with its elaborate polos and stews and the ever basic kabob. On a recent stop at the Kabob Hutt in Corona I went simple and it made all the difference.  

 

There are oddities at play here. For starters, Kabob Hutt is a mutt, a hybrid if you will. It is a fairly nice Persian restaurant—a slogan that says “Fine Persian Cuisine,” as a matter of fact—but it has a drive thru. One imagines tools in Hummers ordering hummus (which probably happens)—but even the drive thru is sort of nontraditional. It takes 10 minutes of window time for the order to come up, meaning you may as well go inside for take out. And inside is where things come clear—it’s a beautiful dining area, with a frankly gorgeous paint job of striking violets and sensual oranges. There are pictures of the food platters, something that always reminds me of seedy restaurants in the cheaper sections of towns in Italy and Spain (and Corona), some delicious looking, many mediocre, some curious. A trendy lunch crowd frequents the joint, and a smart and helpful staff serves them.  

 

I started off with an order of Borani, sautéed eggplant with yogurt, garlic, mint and roasted whey. Visually unappealing and little more than eggplant mush with spices, the combination synergizes perfectly, a nice alternative for those looking to broaden their experiences from something other than hummus. Along with the Borani came a plate of Persian flatbread along with a quarter onion and a couple pads of butter. Eschewing the butter, I found the flatbread to match quite nicely with the Borani, and here was an example of the Kabob Hutt doing the simple so well that it almost seems complicated. Even the raw onion compliments the flatbread—at least in a dry/moist way.

 

For the entrée I ordered Chicken Barg ($15), more or less marinated charbroiled chicken on a skewer. Basically, it’s chicken with pepper and salt marinated in a garlic and olive oil—but wow is it amazing. It’s clear right away that the Hutt uses quality poultry, so there’s little dealing with unpleasant bits of gristle which harsh the best meal. The Hutt marinates the meat so thoroughly that it tenderizes to the point that it crumbles off the skewer. The rest of the plate is long-grain basmati rice gently seasoned with saffron, which blends in colorfully in the bed. Unlike most cultures outside of China and Japan, the basmati rice complements the meal and actually serves as an integral part—not simply filler. The Hutt’s rice is yellow and white, light and fluffy, deliciously seasoned with a hint of lemon. Finally, to round out cornucopia of creative simplicity rests of charbroiled tomato, and, just like the rest of the menu, it too outshines its simple origins.  

 

Kabob Hutt, 165 Washburn Circle, Corona, (951) 279-6696; www.kabobhutt.com. Open daily from 9:30AM–9PM (Fri. and Sat. until 10PM), AE, MC, V

 

 


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