The pine shelves are laden with Wild West trinkets, and tables are jammed with truckers in overalls hunched over huge plates of chicken fried steak. But you’re at Golden Saddle for something else. If you ask about what is cryptically described on the menu as “Chef Choice $9.99 per person,” the waitress finds a long, empty table and drags it next to yours. That’s your first clue a feast is in the offing. A spread of Levantine appetizers soon materializes: hummus, tabouleh, baba ghanoush, fluffy pita bread. It’s only a prelude. Energetic owner and chef Nasim Salari learned his trade as a child in Iran, where family dinner is important and everyone – man, woman and child – plays a part. An enormous platter arrives. A roast lamb shank atop yellow rice.
“That’s lamb rice,” explains Salari. “We take the juice from the roasting lamb and cook the rice in it.”
Then comes an even larger platter of white rice topped with stacks of lamb chops and koobideh kebabs, spiced minced meat molded around a skewer and cooked on a charbroiler. The plates keep coming – a roast chicken, roasted whole tomatoes, bowls of khoresht, the sprightly herbal stews that are a hallmark of Iranian cuisine. Too tame? Ask for the kale pache – lamb’s eyes, brain, tongue and feet all mixed together in a bracing, vibrant soup. 6618 E. Admiral Pl., Tulsa. 918.835.2882