Cafe Natasha


Fond Affections

Love her or hate her, the RFT's most talked-about food reviewer is back

By Jill Posey-Smith Wednesday, May 15 2002 The unbridled success of said bisque suggests a contemplative moment devoted to the subject of soup. Life without soup? Not bloody likely. A primeval dish that began its bright career as a humble-visaged liquid into which were tossed a few bread sops, it has evolved, in the best cases, to represent the pinnacle of a chef's expertise. To make a soup, one strips its ingredients of all pretense and connotation, literally boiling them down to their essence, with flavor in its purest, most cogent form the happy result. A palate that has been caressed by a decent soup is infinitely more forgiving of whatever indelicacies might plague the next course, a circumstance with which more restaurateurs would do well to acquaint themselves. The effects of even the simplest soup are both palliative and restorative.     So it was with my first bowl of vegetarian osh at Kabob International (a lunch-only outpost on South Grand Boulevard operated by the same family that runs the University City Loop's wonderful Café Natasha). I encountered this earthily seasoned lentil-and-grain soup by fortunate accident, having sauntered in one brilliant afternoon, my falafel jones acute, at one of those rare moments when falafel was expected to take a little longer than usual. In an act of uncommon decency (although the falafel delay would turn out to be only a few minutes), proprietor Hamishe Bahrami  obviously no stranger to the mitigating qualities of a good soup, presented me with a bowl to tide me over. I have been a tireless booster of the stuff ever since and endeavor to eat it at least once a week. Its rustic charms are a gratifying preamble to Kabob International's Salad Delight Platter, a sort of Persian-American chef's salad (the falafel-and-feta version is particularly recommended) with homemade yogurt dressing. "We won't offer anything unless it is wonderful," states the menu, and I am inclined to believe it.  



3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
3:00 PM -10:00 PM
2:00 PM -9:00 PM


3200 So. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63118 - (314) 771-3411