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Sep 25, 2007 05:09 PM

Reyhaan Persian Cuisine

Owing to fortuitously placed doctor appointments, I've finally managed to lunch twice at this odd little restaurant. It's sort of a schizophrenic cross between a take-out joint and a sit-down restaurant. I'd been wanting to try it for awhile. It's probably not everyone's cup o'tea but I liked it. Reyhaan is a family-run place on the corner of Jefferson Blvd. and Mesmer in Culver City. The service is a little awkward at times but very friendly. I ordered the same appetizer and entree both times I've been there and the food was consistently good.

In fact, I will be forever grateful to Reyhaan for introducing me to Kashk O Bademjan. I haven't eaten a lot of Persian food, so I was completely unfamiliar with this pureed eggplant appetizer.

I was sort of non-plussed when it first arrived. It was sort of an unpromising gray paste floating in olive oil, however, reminding myself that olive oil is one of the "good" fats, I spread some on a piece of fresh pita and took a bite. Dear lord, the flavor explosion made my tastebuds think they'd died and gone to heaven!

I think this is something that needs to sit around so the flavors can marry: The second time I tried it, it was still good but appeared to be freshly made, the flavor was not as intense.

The boneless Chicken Kabob wasn't as much of an eating adventure but it was pretty tasty: A big skewer of grilled, marinated chicken breast chunks served on a bed of Basmati rice with a fresh grilled tomato on the side. The chicken was nicely moist on both occasions and freshly grilled tomatoes are always a good thing. Rice is a little on the dry side for me but others may prefer it that way.

It isn't the cheapest place I've ever lunched but the prices aren't awful: entrees ranged from a $6.95 lunch special to $16.95 for the Soltani Kabob Beef.

All in all: Beat hell out of Denny's.

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  1. Great find, another bizarre/cursed location. Having worked at Huge Aircrash for a long time I know this corner well. It will be handy and close to my Honda mechanic.

    This must be 11800 Jefferson Blvd, at Mesmer, SW corner.
    Did they replace Safir or Caffe Roberto?

    You did grab a menu or business card, didn't you :-) ? I couldn't find them in Google or Switchboard.

    Reyhan Persian Grill
    11800 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiveFan


      Yep. I grabbed a menu - planning to do takeout sometime. Reyhaan's address is:

      11800 West Jefferson Blvd.
      Culver City, CA 90230
      Phone: 310-390-6800

      There's also what appears to be an Italian place called Bellagio next door I plan to wander through next month: Safir & Caffe Roberto no longer appear to be in the area.

      1. re: DiveFan

        Thanks for the helpful review. Reyhaan showed up on a United Dining Miles list last month; I got interested as it is near me. Three short postings elsewhere said it has been opened since the spring of 2007 and that it's a real shoestring operation where the cook brings your plate to you himself. For a time they reportedly were even borrowing Bellagio's phone! But if I understood one semi-English posting correctly, the couple who own Reyhaan are from rural Iran and may have interesting and authentic off-menu items if asked right. I have to try this place.

        FWIW, the phone number from United Dining Miles was 310-390-1516 and from an 8/14/07 posting was 310-390-5736, in case the takeout menu phone number 310-390-6800 answers "Bellagio" :)

        Bellagio **is** Caffe Roberto; it's next door to Reyhaan. They changed their name, upscaled their menu, and raised their prices, but it's the same guy in the kitchen. Our one meal at Caffe Roberto was unimpressive, languidly served, and wasn't very good value. Caffe Roberto has been there for years, though, so your mileage may vary.

      2. you're supposed to put butter on your rice to make it moist.