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Good Persian in the 714?

I'm looking for great Persian food in the 714 -- not the 562, not the 949, and not the 909, please -- after that horrendous commute the last thing I want to do is get in the car and drive somewhere!

I dream of albalu polo... or basmati rice and delicious, delicious fesenjon...

...I'm making scampi for dinner. Argh.

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  1. My dad has recommended Ferdussi to me before (Santa Ana). I also just noticed there's a Darya nearby too.



    They both have fesenjan, rice, and more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katkoupai

      Ferdussi has a very good lunch buffet, especially on Friday. That's when they add a few more fancy dishes. No matter what day it is, it's a great place for a quick lunch because you serve yourself....so no waiting. I've probably been there about a dozen times, and the food has always been fresh and the service has been very friendly (although because it's a buffet, they aren't really staffed-up with a bunch of waiters for lunch).

      Beware, though, if you order something it takes a while to come out. It's very good, but it takes a while. I prefer the buffet.

    2. Closest to you is Darya (Orange & South Coast Plaza locations), Ferdussi (as katkoupai noted), and Orchid (Costa Mesa). There are others in the 949, but that's not what you asked for.

      1. there are 2 daryas. one is in santa ana/costa mesa area across from nordstrom in the south coast plaza. the other is in orange. i have only eaten in the one in costa mesa/santa ana and love it. my friend eats at the other one and says it is better, it is on my list to go and try. i didn't much care for ferdussi.

        3 Replies
        1. re: justagthing

          There's also one in Santa Monica now. A decade or so ago, there was only one Darya, in South Coast Plaza. Persian restaurants are truly popping up in more places.

          1. re: katkoupai

            the one in South Coast is not the same owners as the other two...so I really need to try the other one...lol

            1. re: justagthing

              Got it. I was wondering about the ownership. :) Thanks.

        2. I have also eaten at both Daryas, and by far I prefer the one in Orange, which I think is closer to home for you, Uber.

          They have a wood fired oven that IMO makes a huge difference in the taste of the Kebabs. They come out a tiny bit charred on the corners, with juicy, tender meat. The whitefish, chicken, boneless lamb, and beef are all minor miracles that the South Coast Plaza restaurant can't touch.

          No doubt, there are probably other dishes that are better at SCP, but I haven't found them.

          1. Awesome! I'll report back when we get a chance to go -- it occurred to me last night that fesenjon is a viable Lenten Friday dinner... but just wait until I get a chance to go!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Er, that it's NOT a viable Lenten Friday dinner. Duh.

            2. We went to Darya in Orange and it was another mediocre persian restaurant. When ordering I told them I want my meat(sultani) juicy and still got overcooked meat! When I told the waiter he argued with me and took it back. Their juicy chicken was much better. I have yet to find a good persian restaurant in this area and we have tried most of them.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mrsjoujou

                If the meat is rough, maybe the quality of the meat was poor, not necessarily overcooked. :)

                1. re: mrsjoujou

                  Also, which Persian restaurants do you like? I would love to know. :)

                  1. re: mrsjoujou

                    I'm surprised he took it back! I have yet to find a Persian restaurant that has good service... =/

                  2. The best persian restaurant is maykadeh in San Francisco. I could eat their sultani at least once a week. I wish I could eat there right now. It is expensive at $25,but worth every bite. In LA ,the best so far is Shahrzad in Westwood.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mrsjoujou

                      Thanks for the reply, mrsjoujou. :)

                      I've been to Maykadeh in SF. It's the one in Little Italy, right? SF has virtually no Persian restaurants or markets. I never actually made it to San Jose.

                      There's a Maykadeh in the San Fernando Valley. Have you tried any of the Persian restaurants in the Valley?

                      1. re: mrsjoujou

                        I have to chime in a differ here. Southern California probably has some of the best Persian food in the country. I haven't been to the Darya in Orange in a LONG time but the Darya in Santa Ana (by South Coast Plaza) has always been solid. Rafi's (spelling?) in Glendale is also excellent...perhaps better than Darya. In and around Westwood there are some other notable Persian restaurants with good SOLTANI but I cannot recommend any specific restaurants.

                        1. re: Searching4Dunny

                          RAFFI'S ROCKS!! their rice is absolutely delish =) ... and good rice is hard to find.

                      2. I went to Darya in Orange tonight to get food to-go (I have a dog at home that is locked inside during the day, so the sooner I get home, the less likely it is that it smells in the house).

                        I ordered panir sabzi, tadig with fesenjan sauce, albalo polo and juicy chicken (I like to have lots of leftovers, what can I say?). It did take half an hour to get the food after I ordered it, but it was definitely worth it.

                        The panir sabzi comes with a chunk of creamy feta, some walnuts, some "crunchies" (radishes and green onions), and a heapin' helpin' of fresh herbs (basil, mint, chervil and tarragon). Combined with warm fresh lavash, it was absolutely delicious.

                        I love tadig -- that crunchiness with the "hey, here's some rice still attached to the crust", and then a stew on top. Their fesenjan sauce needs a little more tartness, but is otherwise very good.

                        The albalo polo was just about perfect -- very slightly dry, but the cherries were fantastic, and only a few cherry pits (which, to be fair, they do warn you about)... and the juicy chicken... wow. Even after I drove home (and got EVERY. SINGLE. RED. LIGHT. and not ONE but TWO Metrolink trains) it was still juicy, hot and perfect.

                        It's really not that expensive -- that feast, which will last me two more meals, was $33 -- and it's a quite elegant-looking place. I did do a double-take that they have a full bar with alcohol ("...in a PERSIAN RESTAURANT??"), and that, upon enquiry, they will deliver anywhere in Orange County, according to the hostess (there is a charge for excess mileage but we didn't get into it).

                        One nicety -- there are couches in the front hall on which they invite you to relax, and someone will bring you the (non-alcoholic) drink of your choice, free. I love Persian tea, lump of sugar in the front teeth and all... so that's what I had. So civilised.

                        Darya Restaurant
                        1998 North Tustin Ave. (between Taft and Meats)
                        Orange, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          I'm so glad you liked it! I also love that you enjoyed the sabzi. My friends often look at me with, "What am I supposed to do with that?" when they see the plate of greens on the table. This rocks! Thanks so much for the report. :)

                        2. Regarding the alcohol, if they are not Halal, it would not be out of the question.

                          1. We love Caspian on Culver at the 5 freeway. Sometimes they have okra stew which is out of this world. Bon appetit!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Kaisgraham

                              I'v been to both Ferdusis and Daria. Both good but expensive. The Ferdusi lunch is not a bad deal though. I miss the original Daria take out when they started out in the strip mall next to Target in Santa Ana, $5 got you a great meal.
                              I have been to a place called Naan n Kabob in Tustin. Its on 1st between Prospect and Newport. Its a little hole in the wall with a few tables. The prices are cheap and its good.

                              1. We like Caspian much better than Darya. Been going there for many years. 5 freeway at Culver in Irvine. The best.

                                1. I'm 1/2 Persian, and cook Persian food when the craving is strong and I'm not too lazy. I can honestly say that one of my absolute WORST dining experiences in terms of service AND food was at Darya at South Coast Plaza. Beautiful restaurant, but the food isn't that authentic (aside from kebobs, hard to screw up) and the servers can be rather stuck up.
                                  As it stands, Orchid on Bristol in Costa Mesa is my favorite restaurant. They make their lavash bread right there, so it will be hot and bubbly. The only problem is the service can be rather slow, but the food always makes up for it. Good prices too.