Nicole’s Kitchen started in 2013 as an afterschool escape while self-taught chef Nicole Dayani was studying at UCLA, dead set on a career in real estate. “I felt like Persian food was slowly dying out, and wanted to recreate Iranian food that would be an everyday kind of thing that you'd be able to have, with a bit of Persian influence.”
She knew that traditional Persian cooking“takes time—the stews, chopping herbs, washing and all that kind of stuff” and, wanted to develop recipes that were more approachable for those of us with busy schedules. Once she began sharing her creations on Instagram, the requests for cooking classes came pouring in. After a year of rejecting offers, she eventually gave in to the call for kabobs. Today, she’s offering classes and dining experiences out of a kitchen she built in the basement of her LA home.
Persian food might just be the best way to experience Iranian culture. “The Persian community in LA is very communal, tight-knit, loud (they really appreciate music), and food is really what keeps them together,” says the chef. Just in time for Nowruz, (Iranian New Year) Nicole shared with us a few of her favorite Persian restaurants in LA.
Attari Sandwich Shop
Taste of Tehran Restaurant
Flame International Kabob House
Attari Sandwich Shop courtesy of @nicoleskitchenla
Taste of Tehran Restaurant courtesy of @thestaceysun
Raffi's Place courtesy of @alis_foodnetwork
Flame International Kabob House courtesy of @nomchecklist