Best Italian-Iranian Dish

Lamb Cabbage Wraps at I Squared

Rockridge’s sleek little I Squared restaurant serves a handful of Persian dishes and a handful of Italian dishes, but it serves only one Persian-hyphen-Italian dish. The house-specialty cabbage wraps are not only one of the more unusual examples of fusion cookery in the Bay Area and possibly the world, they’re absolutely delicious — a fabulous dish like nothing else you’ve tasted. Mediterranean tarragon and the kitchen’s luscious marinara sauce are combined with the Middle East’s cumin, cinnamon, and ground lamb and stuffed into tender cabbage leaves with dill, parsley, and rice, resulting in a sweet, spicy, creamy, citrusy platter of good old pan-Eurasian comfort food. The wraps are no head-turning beauties, but the aroma will get your taste buds working as soon as the two steaming rolls hit your table. Thankfully, the delectable creation graces the I Squared menu at all times. Italian and Iranian you’re wondering? Executive chef Nory Madjlessi gains Italian cred from LoCoco’s and Iranian culinary prowess from his mother. And the rest of Madjlessi’s menu (kebabs and pasta, mostly) is really good too, and the setting is hip yet casual in the Japanese, blond-wood, stainless-steel fashion.


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