In 2012 Ali Mesghali moved his already adored Persian restaurant just down the street to a 6,000-square-foot former auto shop, and the place is more popular than ever. Make dinner reservations early, and be warned that the valet line can trail into the street. The payoff is food that's more precisely executed, thanks in part to a roomier kitchen. Start with creamy yogurt or eggplant dips and a lemony, cucumber-heavy salad. The entree section is largely a kebab-o-thon, though don't miss true-minded dishes like braised lamb neck in an herb-and-potato broth. Also try torshi, a Persian take on chutney that includes green chile and mango, to flavor the snowdrifts of rice that come with main courses.
Best of Atlanta 2013
A year ago chef-owner Ali Mesghali relocated his Sandy Springs draw half a block to a former Midas auto shop. The Johnson Studio tricked out its 6,000 square feet with sky-blue tile flowing through the open kitchen and leather banquettes surrounding live potted trees. The place is slammed nightly, due to a kitchen that delivers finely calibrated renditions of classic Persian dishes: hot, crisp-squashy flatbreads; creamy yogurt spreads; and kebabs in a spectrum of proteins. Go for lamb in any form, including braised neck as tender as short rib.