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San Diego, home to the third largest Iraqi community in the US--but where's the cuisine?

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lotsofissues Dec 11, 2006 09:14 AM

Mostly Assyrians, some Kurds. Wh are the restaurants?

I found this generic Middle Eastern restaurant was a polling site in last year's Iraqi election: http://www.royalpalacerestaurant.com/

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  1. DiningDiva RE: lotsofissues Dec 11, 2006 12:41 PM

    In the dining no-mans land called East County. Try El Cajon or Rancho San Diego.

    1. Ed Dibble RE: lotsofissues Dec 11, 2006 01:50 PM

      There is a restaurant in East County called Sahara that I have had the good fortune to eat at. Chaldeans operate it, and the menu contains the usual middle eastern suspects. The night I was there, they were actually closed for a wedding feast, but since we were early, they let us have some of the dishes. The rice was very nice and fragrant, showing an Iranian influence perhaps. Dolmas the best I've ever had. Schwarma very good also. Supposedly there has been an ownership change in the last couple of years, and my friends from that part of the country warn that one should always call first because the place serves almost as a community center for the local Chaldeans, so it is often closed for parties etc. Certainly worth trying.

      ed

      1. c
        Cathy RE: lotsofissues Dec 11, 2006 11:56 PM

        On East Main, in El Cajon. From Magnolia to second street there are at least 50 smaller, "Mom and Pop" Mediterranean places

        1. Joseph RE: lotsofissues Feb 8, 2007 09:53 PM

          Does anyone have an update about Iraqi / Chaldean food in east county, San Diego?

          I recently became aware of the community out in El Cajon, but I have not seen many recommendations. Has anyone tried one of these places?

          1. c
            cali5189 RE: lotsofissues Feb 9, 2007 01:00 PM

            My roommate for the past year is Iraqi and the only place her and her family would consistantly go is Ali Baba's I believe it's on El Cajon Blvd and I must say they have the best Tabulej (sp?) and fantastic chai, also their Arabic bread is great, made fresh and still warm!! mmmm

            1 Reply
            1. re: cali5189
              Joseph RE: cali5189 Feb 10, 2007 08:34 AM

              Is you roommate Chaldean (Iraqi Christian), Kurdish or Arab?

            2. leanneabe RE: lotsofissues Feb 12, 2007 11:41 AM

              This may be terribly ignorant of me, but does Persian food fall into that cuisine category?

              We've been to Bandar in downtown SD and like their dolmas and different types of rice dishes. I had a lamb and eggplant stew that was quite tasty.

              There's also a Persian restaurant near Miramar Rd and Black Mtn in the same strip mall as a Rice King - not fancy, but we went for lunch quite often when I was working in that area.

              1 Reply
              1. re: leanneabe
                kare_raisu RE: leanneabe Feb 12, 2007 06:12 PM

                You are not far off, as Persian cuisine is represantative of Iraq's neighbor, Iran.

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