Just Kabab brings Middle Eastern cuisine to Oro Valley (& you’ll want to try it)

Although kebabs are the star, Just Kabab also features Persian stews and Turkish coffee.

Just Kabab quietly opened its doors at 10420 N. La Canada Dr. on Thursday, February 14.

Located in a strip mall a few doors west of Goyita’s, Just Kabab offers a wide selection of Middle Eastern dishes on the menu.

Although kebabs are the star, the menu also features Persian stews and Turkish coffee.

Chef and owner Arash Foroozan is half Persian and half Filipino. He also spent time in Dubai. Although his background is primarily in engineering, he was passionate enough about his cuisine and knew enough about the industry to open Just Kabab.

Interior at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Interior at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

First impressions

The casual interior features wooden booths, red metal chairs, and succulents at each table.

Customers can view the refrigerated case of kebabs and the dessert case, then order at the counter, often run by Foroozan’s wife Nooshin.

The grill station is featured prominently so diners can watch Foroozan meticulously baste and rotate kebabs by hand. Kebabs are grilled to order, so be aware — you will need to wait for them to be cooked.

Dishes to order

To start your meal, try the Dolmeh ($2.49) and some Babaganoosh ($5.99). The Dolmeh, stuffed grapevine leaves, feature a distinct sweet tartness different from the norm — perhaps pomegranate molasses? The Babaganoosh had smoky eggplant flavor with a lovely balance of garlic, lemon, and tahini.

For a distinctly Persian eggplant dish, order the Kashk-e-bademjoon ($6.99), which features spiced eggplant with yogurt curd.

Kababs at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Kababs at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Entrees are served with saffron rice, pickled vegetables, and grilled tomato. Out of roughly 15 skewers available, we tried five. The new Lamb Afrique ($12.99) was the favorite, seasoned with a potently piquant African spice blend.

Our second favorite was the Chicken Saffron ($9.99), which features chunks of chicken marinated in yogurt and saffron. The chicken had a slight char while maintaining a perfectly juicy interior.

The saffron rice and Persian pickles also deserve a shout-out. The rice was both moist and fluffy, while the Persian pickles provided a tangy counterpoint to the rich meats.

End on a sweet note

Just Kabab also features an array of Middle Eastern desserts. If you want to play it safe, get the flaky Baklava ($2.99) or crunchy saffron syrup-dipped Zoolbia ($2.49).

For something a little more unusual ’round these parts, try the Kanafeh ($3.99). Melty white cheese is sandwiched by thin crispy noodles, topped with syrup and crushed pistachios.

Arash and Nooshin Foroozan at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Arash and Nooshin Foroozan at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Just Kabab Menu Highlights

Appetizers
  • Falafel Plate ($6.99) – fried chickpeas with herbs; served with tahini sauce, bread
  • JK Mojos ($6.99) – fried sliced potatoes coated with spices
  • Dolmeh ($2.49) – stuffed grapevine leaves
  • Kashk-o-bademjoon ($6.99) – spiced eggplant with yogurt curd, served with bread
Babaganoosh at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Babaganoosh at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Entrees
  • Beef Kubideh ($8.99) – ground beef skewer seasoned with onion, spices
  • Chicken Saffron ($9.99) – chicken chunks marinated in yogurt, saffron
  • Beef or Lamb Afrique ($12.99) – meat skewers with African spice rub
  • Ghorme Sabzi ($12.99) – beef stew with fresh herbs
  • Fesenjan ($12.99) – chicken stew cooked with ground walnuts, pomegranate
  • Gheyme ($10.99) – beef stew with split peas, tomatoes
Kababs at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Kababs at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Dessert
  • Bamiyeh ($2.49) – fried dough in saffron syrup
  • Zoolbia ($2.49) – crispy yogurt dough in saffron syrup
  • Faloodeh ($4.99) – frozen sweet noodles
  • Kanafeh ($3.99) – crispy thin noodles with cheese in syrup
Kanafeh at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Kanafeh at Just Kabab (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Operating hours and location

Operating hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Just Kabab is located at 10420 N. La Canada Dr. Ste. 160. For more information, visit justkababusa.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.

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