Two food writers eat at all the Persian restaurants in SoCal (OK, 18 of them)

bang bang bang bang bang bang bang


Addison’s enthusiasm and creativity with his new job is really remarkable. He has stepped into the biggest shoes (if not pants ;)) his industry has ever had, with aplomb.


Westwood really destroyed the competition there.

wonder why they didn’t just ask why the restaurants ladle stews over their tahdig.

Super great read! As a Persian myself, I definitely approve of the list. Raffi’s honestly used to be great but last time I went, the performance was lackluster. With regards to why they put the khoresh on the stew, it’s just tradition as far as I understand. I do agree with Helou, however, and I almost always ask them to serve the khoresh separately from the tahdig. I also approve of the non-restaurant mentions, particularly the sangak at Wholesome Choice, for which people will drive many miles to purchase.

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He’s doing great, but to be fair, the Times hired two critics and still needed some freelancers to fill in the gaps.

That sangak is one of the only positive things when I lived in Irvine.

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Also to be fair, even when Gold was at the Times (and Weekly), they needed some freelancers to fill in the gaps as well. Plus, there was the scout team.

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To be honest, I actually think Irvine isn’t too bad. There is diverse array of Chinese options (Diamond Jamboree along with some places on Culver), some Korean options, Japanese options (Ootori and Hiro Nori Ramen come to mind), Asian supermarkets, Italian (Angelina’s), and plenty of Persian restaurants and supermarkets (Super Irvine is a solid grocery store as well if you’re near the 5 rather than the 405). Also there are plenty of good standbys (Houston’s, Ruth’s Chris, In-n-Out, Mendocino Farms to name a few).

This is not to mention the proximity to Santa Ana where there are great Mexican food trucks; Tustin where there is an area with tons of different options from bakeries to Japanese food to Indian; Costa Mesa with Sidecar Donuts, Taco Maria, Vaca, Arc, Din Tai Fung, the newcomer Marugame Udon; Newport Beach for other Hillstone faves (especially Bandera), Marche Moderne, Pizzeria Mozza, the solid-but-sometimes-pompous happy hour scene around Fashion Island.

Irvine isn’t perfect for scoping out food but I think that many things are within grasp.


I agree. Lots of places within a 10-15 minutes drive.

North Irvine near Tustin/Costa Mesa is close to many of the places you mention. It’s a good launching point. ST Patisserie, Cream Pan and Tanakaya are reasonably close in Tustin.

When you start to go South on the 405 there are less options - I like Angelina’s Pizzeria and Fukada near the Spectrum.

Plenty of good options off the 5 with Chinese off Jeffrey Rd and Kang Ho Dong.

Tons of ramen shops in Costa Mesa a stones throw away.

there’s also Kawamata Seafood all the way down in south oc

Taste of Tehran is our go to for Persian take out. Yesterday we decided to sit in. It was a bit packed even for a Friday, presumably due to the article.

Apologies for the crappy photos but the SO was famished so I had to snap these quickly :smile:

Ghormeh sabzi with tahdig- they don’t pour the stew over the rice :wink:
I typically don’t order stews at Persian restaurants since I’m spoiled by my (Persian) friend’s mom’s home cooking (love all of her fesenjoon, bademjan, and ghormeh sabzi). This one is not quite home cooking but is the best I’ve personally had at a restaurant.

House and shirazi salads

Beef soltani (koobideh and shish kabob). We also agree with the writers and like their koobideh a lot; the filets are also pretty good, and the meat juice dropped onto the rice tempts you into carb consumption

Only drawback is that this place is a bit cozy, which is why we usually pick up. But this was our first time eating in, and, no surprise, it was better this way. We feel like we’ve been missing out!


Some followup in Addison’s newsletter:

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