Like Bees to Honey

Sangak, the ultimate Persian food-delivery system

Blast with heat, rack, and repeat.

The action in front of Asal Bakery & Kabob's stainless steel oven crescendos as customers arrive in droves to score warm, yard-long sheets of sangak ($3), a sesame-studded flatbread that's crispy outside and pillowy within.

Most customers grab two or three slabs for the road, but it's even better when paired on the spot with Asal's bold Persian food. Cousins Mike Riazati and Reza Abdollahi are Tehran natives who've been feeding the West Valley's sizable Middle Eastern community for four months.

Every table receives a basket of sangak. Slather your bread with asal (honey) and sarshir (cream), dip it in hummus, or pair it with Asal's hearty soups, stews and kebabs.

Kubideh ($6) are well-spiced ground-beef sausages that drip savory juices onto a sangak base. Cornish hen wings ($10) are infused with saffron, skewered and charbroiled. Ash Reshteh ($5), a herbaceous bean and noodle soup that's topped with mint oil and kashk (whey), is another winner.

Before hitting the register, swing by the pastry cases, which feature dozens of Persian and American cookies. Asal also sells thicker, torpedo-shaped barberi ($2) bread, and ghandy ($3), sangak's sweeter, orange cousin.

Asal Bakery & Kabob, 20008 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills; 818-436-2353