Best Iranian Restaurants in S. Calif


by Faramarz_Fateh

There are so many Iranian restaurants and Chelokababi's in S. California that you can eat at a different one for lunch and dinner for a month before you have repeat eating at one. I am sort of mixing chelokababi and restaurants for the sake of simplicity and will use these names interchangeably.

Although there are many restaurants, there are only a few which offer good food and good service.

If you ask most Iranian women where they want to eat chelokabab they tell you Darya in Orange County. There are mainly 2 reasons for this; first the decor and atmosphere and second its proximity to South Coast Plaza shopping center with Bloomingdales and Saks and Nordstroms. Plus most women think if you pay a lot for food at a restaurant, the food is good.

Men are different; if you ask 10 different men about their opinion on chelokababis, you'll probably hear at least 5 or 6 different names. Most connoisseurs of chelokabob however will vote for Rafi's Place in Glendale, if not for everything, for their kabab barg for sure. Raf's salad olivieh and loobia are also excellent.

The atmosphere is definitely not female friendly, but its great for informal family gatherings and gatherings of single/divorced men. But the food definitely rates an A or A-.

For koobideh, Javan restaurant in West LA, Shamshiri in West Wood and Caspian in Irvine are tied for the first place. Its tough to select one between these 3.

For khoreshts like ghormeh sabzi and fesenjoon and gheymeh there is a tie situation again; I think Shiraz in the Valley and Caspian, Darya and Bahar in Irvine have the same quality and all taste good.

Overall though, service is always good at most established places. The best fast food kabab I have had was at Cafe Bravo in Glendale. If you are out in N. Glendale, have a couple skewers of koobideh there. You won't go wrong.

If I were you, I'd stay away from ALL chelokababi's in San Diego and San Francisco; these places generally (not always) offer mediocre food with poor service. I am already bracing myself for hate mail regarding this statement but what the hell; you gotta tell it like it is.

This is my list. Share yours with me and the rest of the readers.


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I agree

by Babak SD (not verified) on

I whole heartedly agree that Rafi's #1. But for people outside Los Angeles its way too far.

Even though I live close to the restaurant inside the shell gas station in Encinitas, never been there. But that place is more like a fast food joint.

Alborz and Sadaf used to be good. They are both below average now. Bandar's food is OK, average service but pricey. So far 4 people I know have had very bad experiences with the management there. Must be something to it.



امیر کبیر درباغ فین قدم میزند (not verified)

چند سال پیش گذرمان به محله وست_وود لوس انجلس افتاد که اکثر کتاب فروشی ها و رستورانهای ایرانی در آنجا قرار دارند. بنده در یک کتابفروشی ایرانی که مغازه بسیار کوچکی بود در حال نگاه کردن به کتابها بودم و صاحب مغازه با دوستش در حال گفتگو بود.

ناگهان دو تا خانم ایرانی هفت قلم آرایش کرده که بین دو تاشان شاید چهار جور بوی عطر به مشام میرسید خرامان خرامان وارد مغازه شدند و بدون کوچکترین توجهی به در و دیوار و کتابها و نقاشی های زیبای خطی و غیره، مستقیما بطرف صاحب مغازه رفتند و سئوال کردند:

آقا ببخشید بهترین چلوکبابی اینجا کجاست؟

صاحب مغازه سرش را پائین آورد و قدری فکر کرد و پاسخ داد:

اگر تشریف ببرید آنطرف خیابان دو تا چلوکبابی هستند که اکثر ایرانیان به آنجا میروند.

یکی از خانمها با رضایت خاطر گفت: آقا یک دنیا ممنون و هردو راه افتادند که بروند و بمراد دل خود برسند.

نزدیک در که رسیدند، صاحب مغازه آنها را صدا کرد و بایشان چنین گفت:

بنده هم از شما خواهشی دارم، اگر کسی از شما سئوال کرد در وست_وود چیز دیگری بجز چلوکباب گیر میاید، بایشان بفرمائید که بله چندتا کتابفروشی نیز هست!

حرف صاحب آن کتابفروشی را هرگز از یاد نخواهم برد و شما معنی آنرا خود استنباط کنید.


best iranian restaurants....

by sarshar45 on

well, if we want to be technical about the best persian restaurants they are not even in california at all.... they are in northern virginia/dc/maryland area :).... and the pricing is better also!

 in san diego we eat at parsian sometimes and we do like bandar in the gaslamp. sometimes we eat at sadaf in the gaslamp, but that is mainly for the persian music and dancing. it is quite expensive for kabab in my opinion.

have never heard of the car wash/gas station/kababi in encinitas... will have to see if i can find it.

nooshe jaan everyone!


San Diego to planet Tehran-Geles

by por khor (not verified) on

here we enjoy Parsian grocery store's fast persian food and the service is friendly.
Alborz in Del Mar is more formal and is frequented by many khare-jee-ha.
Shell gas station on El Camino in Encinitas offers a car wash and chelo kabob. Can not complain

Some weekends on the way home we stop at wholesome choice on culver. Its fun.


Okay brace yourself

by desi on

Okay brace yourself Faramarz.  Since I'm not a resident of LA.  Hell I have to take a xanax when I go north of San Clemente.  I'm stuck with the chelo kababis in San Diego.  Sadaf in La Jolla catered my wedding and did a fantastic job.  The staff was amazing and everybody loved it.  I do like Bandar in the gas lamp for its addas polo.  We're not as fortunate to have the kabobis in Westwood but I'd much rather live down the street from a great beach and friendly locals than be in LA any day.  Sorry dude you knew this was coming.