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Iranian shops along Westwood Boulevard in South Westwood. Westwood is also known as "Little Persia".

Tehrangeles (Persian: تهرانجلس‎) (or Little Persia) is a portmanteau deriving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles. It is used when referring to the large number (estimates range from 500,000 to 600,000) of Iranian-Americans and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area after the 1979 Revolution left many families displaced; it is the largest such population outside Iran.[1][2][3][4] The intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Wilkins Avenue is recognized by the City of Los Angeles as Persian Square.[5]


A Persian community originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of the Westside in the 1960s.[6] Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Revolution in Iran.[7] Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants;[8] and the Iranian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio, and television stations.

Westwood skyline


Iranian-owned businesses are particularly prevalent on Westwood Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood to Pico Boulevard. As the population has grown, Iranians and their American-born children count as home neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, which includes Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Encino, and Beverly Hills, as well as the cities of Irvine, Huntington Beach and elsewhere in Orange County.[9] They have also made their homes in San Diego and the Palm Springs area of the Coachella Valley.

In popular culture[edit]

In 2012, Bravo began broadcasting the series Shahs of Sunset, set in the Iranian community in LA. In 2018 the novel Tehrangeles, a romantic comedy set in the community, was published.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (May 9, 2006). "Exiles in 'Tehrangeles' Are Split on Iran". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  2. ^ Montagne, Renée (June 8, 2006). "Living in Tehrangeles: L.A.'s Persian Community". Morning Edition. NPR. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  3. ^ Anderson, Kurt (March 13, 2009). "Mamak Khadem gives a tour of Tehrangeles". Studio 360. NPR. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  4. ^ Dickerman, Sara (June 7, 2009). "Persian Cooking Finds a Home in Los Angeles". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Koretz, Paul (February 26, 2010). "Persian Square approved for Los Angeles, thanks to Paul Koretz motion" (PDF) (Press release). Los Angeles: The Office of Council Member Paul Koretz, Fifth District. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  6. ^ ETEHAD, MELISSA (2019-02-24). "They can't go back to Iran. So L.A. Persians built 'Tehrangeles' and made it their own". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  7. ^ Khakpour, Porochista (September 16, 2015), "Round Peg in a Persian Square", Los Angeles Magazine, retrieved 22 November 2018
  8. ^ Addison, Bill (2019-08-06). "Two food writers eat at all the Persian restaurants in SoCal (OK, 18 of them)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  9. ^ Auyoung, Derrick. "Eastern Indo-European, Semitic, Near Eastern Altaic languages [of Los Angeles]". Project LANGUAGES OF LOS ANGELES. MAPS. UCLA College [of] Humanities. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. based on "The Ethnic Quilt. Population Density in Southern California" by James P.Allen and Eugen Turner. Northridge: California State University, 1997

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°03′21″N 118°25′54″W / 34.05583°N 118.43167°W / 34.05583; -118.43167