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Early Bird: Darioush in Beverly Hills

July 19, 2010 |  9:48 am

At Darioush -- a new French-Persian restaurant in Beverly Hills -- unexpected flavors dart across the tongue as quickly as exclamations of surprise and with equal vicissitude.

What you thought was a hint of cinnamon quickly changes direction, leaving a sweet trace of mint, and the rich, full-bodied flavor that permeates a slender slice of eggplant turns out to be the work of a mesquite broiler rather than a coating of smoky spice. Ingredients are both exotic and familiar: pomegranate, mint, saffron, lime, mango, dates and basmati rice play prominently on the menu and are prepared using modern French cooking techniques. Read on:

Darioush Danesh holding mesquite-grilled filet at his new restaurant in Beverly Hills.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / July 14, 2010)