Kebab house -- Persian in Walnut Creek
The meal started with complementary, and good quality, toasted pita.
Dolmas were great. An eggplant appetizer (Kashk-e-Bademjan?) was served with a yogurt sauce, caramelized shallots/onions/garlic?, and fried mint. Whetever those caramelized aliums were, they had a concentrated flavor and added even more depth to the eggplant.
Tahdig is served with one of two stews, so we paid $2 extra to get both. The Khoresht-e-gheymeh (tomato stew with yellow split peas) was pleasant and the split peas cooked just past al-dente. But both it, and the Khoresht-e- Ghomesabzi, a parsley stew, were lacking enough sourness from dried lime to elevate them to life. The tahdig, crisped rice from the bottom of the pot, was tall and golden. On the plus side, it was well seasoned and wasn't burnt. But, perhaps because we were there just before closing, it was too oily and dried out.
The tender lamb kebab ($16.95) had a light char and good flavor, and the roasted tomato it was served with was fully cooked yet still retained its firmness. Good rice too. It's preceded by a house salad.
Sabzi (fresh herbs and cheese) costs $6.75 or so and I'd probably get it next time to start the meal. It's free at other Persian places in the Bay Area, but those places also charge several dollars more for meat dishes so the cost probably evens out.
When in the area, we try to get there for lunch - a real bargain, especially the lamb shank.
Then we wander across the strip mall to Kasra Market for fresh Middle Eastern groceries and saffron ice cream sandwiches.
Down Newell Blvd is Babushka's, source of decent Russian groceries and deli items. Their dining room is an experience.