A nondescript property adjacent to a butcher shop on a boulevard known for radiator repair shops, Al-Watan is an anomaly in the elite world of superior cuisine. Some of the most vividly smoky tandoor-cooked meats you will ever taste can be found here.
Spicy, meaty kebobs inflected by the flavors of ginger, cardamom and chilis, come to fruition in a clay oven (always essential), leaving a strong imprint. King among the stews is Haleem beef, braised with shredded wheat until it breaks down into a thick gravy with the flavor of well-browned roast-beef drippings.
As meaty as Al-Watan is, even vegetarians are gratified here: Navratan Korma is a mixture of cauliflower, green beans, and carrots stir-fried with chili and plenty of spices. This is akin to a wonderful Pakistani ratatouille, the flavors of each vegetable fresh and distinct while contributing to the cumulative effect of the cumin-scented whole.
Al-Watan is a peak performer of Pakistani food, acknowledged by many as the best restaurant of its genre in L.A.! For more about Al-Watan and other eclectic L.A. dining, look here