Earlier in the week we did a little window shopping in Solana Beach, and on the way back, I was quite excited to have a chance to have lunch at Alborz Restaurant, which came highly recommended by several People. Located in a strip mall overlooking the I-5 freeway Alborz can be a bit hard to find unless you're actively looking for it.
I approached the Restaurant positively excited over eating Persian Food. I've only had Persian Food in San Diego, at Bandar, Sadaf, and Parsian Market. And my knowledge is pretty much limited to Chelo Kabobs, Shirazi Salads, and the like.
The humble facade hides a a very nice and well appointed interior. We were seated immediately, and looked over the menu. And flat bread was immediately delivered to the table.
Along with very pungent and strong raw onion. The large shaker of sumac was also a good sign.
We placed our orders, and were brought some nice lentil and rice soup; well flavored with cilantro and tomato, I really enjoyed the soup.
Up next came our appetizer. Now this is where I made a mistake. An acquaintance of mine told me to order something called Panir Sabzi($6.99), telling me it was a "salad" with goat cheese and walnuts. And me being the doofus that I am at times, really didn't do any research, and was kind of confused when it was delivered to our table.
There was a small cube of feta cheese, some really good walnuts, scallions, mint, basil, and leek. The Missus and I looked at each other in pregnant silence, until we both broke out laughing. We were waiting for "something else". Having a total lack of any experience with this dish, and having had it described to me as a "salad" I was totally caught off guard. The last time I was served a plate of herbs like this, it accompanied a bowl of Pho'! My bad..... Finally we figured out that you slice off a bit of feta and walnut, roll up the herbs in the bread and eat it. The feta was too mild and totally lost, and the green onions overpowered everything else in the dish.
The Missus ordered the Lamb Shank($10.50):
The green bean rice was on the bitter side, and the salad was decent, though mild and in need of a good quantity of sumac. The lamb shank was delivered separately:
The lamb shank could have used a bit more cooking, but the texture wasn't really bad, though the overall taste was a bit on the mild side. The sauce was well flavored and slightly rich, and the Missus enjoyed this the best.
I ordered the Lubia Polo($8.99):
The Shirazi Salad(tomato-cucumber salad) needed a bit more lemon/lime for flavoring, I ended up sprinkling alot of sumac on the salad. The tomato rice was delici-yoso when mixed with the layer of saffron rice, I finished it up in no time. The ground beef kabob was very moist, though very bland, again in need of alot of sumac. The charred tomato was quite bitter.
Though the food was decent at Alborz, I really didn't think it's worth making a special trip for. I did Email Howie from A Foodie's Eye View, asking Him what he usually orders. He informed me, that He enjoys the Kobideh, Chicken Kabob, and the Eggplant Borani. I also asked a Co-worker who is Persian and lives in Del Mar, She also seconded the Kobideh, and also enjoys the Kebob Barg. I was also told that the food at Alborz is decent but very "tame". So maybe I'll order one of those dishes if I'm in the area and decide to have a meal at Alborz again. Or maybe one of you can do that for me, and let me know how you like it.
Some notes on Alborz: Service was excellent and very friendly. I was amazed at how quickly we were served. As the pictures detail, the portions are pretty large, especially for "Lunch Specials".
2672 Del Mar Heights Rd
Del Mar, CA 92014