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Moby Dick, 1300 Connecticut Ave., N.W. (and five other area locations), (202) 833-9788 Mehran, 2138 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., (202) 342-0056 Yes, we take takeout seriously. In five years of dating, our most heated arguments have been about either this column or what to order for dinner. And, over the years, we’ve learned some critical lessons about maintaining peace in a relationship: It’s important to listen to each other; it’s important to compromise; it’s ok to order pizza and Chinese. At the moment, we are in a kabob period, which might seem to solve the problem. Except, we have simultaneously each discovered what we believe to be the single best kabob joint in the District. Our convictions have led to a ludicrous standoff whereby several evenings a week we each order a very similar dinner, only from separate restaurants. Vanessa stands behind the Persian kabob platters peddled at Moby Dick House of Kabob. Meanwhile, Phillip throws his support to the Mehran Restaurant in Foggy Bottom, which specializes in Indian and Pakistani cooking. Vanessa says: I’m clearly not the only one who appreciates Moby Dick’s generous servings of succulent meat served over warm freshly baked pita. The outfit is so popular it’s spun into an area chain with locations in the District, Virginia, and Maryland. Our neighborhood franchise � located just south of Dupont Circle � enjoys a loyal following of local office workers, and, unlike some of Moby Dick’s other locations, offers ample seating for diners who opt to eat in. Moby Dick’s kabob menu features steak, lamb, chicken, and kubideh, or ground beef. Each option proves tender and flavorful � never overcooked. My lone disappointment at Moby Dick was an unconventional ground chicken kabob. I’d expected a healthier version of the savory kubideh, but found the concoction spongy and bland. Kabob platters, which cost $6 to $12, come with grilled tomatoes, rice or bread, and a choice of yogurt sauce or cucumber salad. I always go for the pita � as large as a Frisbee and delivered straight from Moby Dick’s clay oven. If I’m ordering to go, I ask for the bread on the side. Otherwise, it’s a soggy mess by the time I get it home. Which brings me to Moby Dick’s single greatest drawback: no delivery. Of course, that can be a blessing as well. A person can eat an awful lot of delicious kabobs without gaining a pound if it requires a good walk each way. Phillip says: Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: it’s hot. The food at Mehran is spicy and may overwhelm diners with delicate palates. (I won’t mention any names.) But it’s also very tasty. And if you enjoy a little bit of fire on the tongue, Mehran turns out the best kabobs in town. I often go for the chicken tikka � plump chunks of boneless white meat chicken stained red by tandoori spices � or lamb � tender morsels of meat imbued with the smokiness of the barbeque. Also worth trying is the seekh kabob, a traditional blend of ground beef, onions, and spices, which comes crisp off the charcoal grill. But my personal favorite is Mehran’s lamb chops. While unpredictable � sometimes midsize chops with dense, smoky meat and only a hint of heat; other times enormous, well-marbled double-chops crusted in spices � they never disappoint. The lamb chops are so good, in fact, that they were recently my contribution to a potluck dinner (but please don’t tell anyone). At $6 to $9, the kabobs come with rice, a vegetable side dish, and naan from Mehran’s tandoori oven. The flat bread emerges moist and chewy with crisp edges and may be the best in the city. Chicken paratha � an ingenious invention of naan with small pieces of chicken baked in � makes a hearty meal by itself and can even be enjoyed by those with a low spice tolerance. In addition to kabobs and barbequed specialties, Mehran offers a variety of curry dishes, including a middling chicken tikka masala and a savory butter chicken. My advice: seek the heat and stick to Mehran’s great array of barbequed meats. � Vanessa Blum is a reporter at Legal Times and Phillip Dub� is an attorney at D.C.’s Covington & Burling.

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