We commend this tiny spot for its bravery, opening within blocks of Matsuhisa and the Bazaar by José Andrés. Darioush serves a sometimes at-odds mix of French and Middle Eastern flavors (confit of duck as well as rib-eye kabob). The closer chef-owner Darioush Danesh stays to his native Persian cuisine, the better. A choice of dips that include creamy spinach borani and a sharp tapenade accompany an order of warm flatbread. Fava-studded basmati rice seasoned with dill comes with an oversize braised lamb shank. The kabobs are exceptionally juicy, and Danesh’s deft use of spice stops just short of overwhelming the meat. We believe baklava ranks among the finest desserts ever created; this version with pistachios, roasted pineapple, and saffron ice cream doesn’t disappoint. » 111 N. La Cienega Blvd. (310-289-0300). L-D Mon.-Sat. Beer and wine. French-Persian    $$ 


Photograph courtesy darioushrestaurant.com