Rice is not a side, not an afterthought, not a plate-filler. Rice is the star at Amoo’s, and comes in at least a half-dozen versions. There’s an entire section dedicated to rice specialties, and shirin polo, with pistachios, almonds, barberries, candied carrots—and that’s just to name a few adornments—is one way to go for a mouthful of sweet, fruity and nutty flavors all at once. Tahdigh is the famed portion of rice cooked until crispy from the bottom of the pot. Its hardened texture catapults this to beyond the standard fluffy grain. The restaurant, from an Iranian family, also serves much more: eggplant is spun into a sweet and savory dip; a giant meatball (more like a towering meatloaf) is a cushy chunk of ground beef; and the fish, a wild-caught sea bass tinged orange from saffron, is the most beautifully cooked fish. It’s soft and silky—skewered and grilled over an open flame—and a deft display of a seasoned kitchen and how a dish eaten a million times takes on a new life.
Persian | $$$
6271 Old Dominion Drive, McLean