If the corner of Mesmer and Jefferson is often confusing to you, you’re not alone. On this intersection is an ever-changing rainbow of restaurants with continually confusing names. Over the years, there’s been Roberto’s, House of Pasta, Polentoni, and many other names, all adding to this diner’s confusion.
Whaddup with that? Tax evasion? Rotating ownership? Maybe Home Depot is having a sale on paint, and the owner wants to give the entire rainbow a run.
But there’s a little place on the right end of all this commotion that’s been around for a few years. Reyhan Persian Grill is easy to miss, but hard to forget once you’ve given it a try.
Plop yourself down, where you will be faced with a variety of kabobs, stews, soups, salads and a zoo of appetizers from which to choose. There’s no alcohol, but you’re free to bring your own bottle, and there’s no corkage fee.
Reyhan’s been run by Fereydoun (Frank) Vakhshoury and his significant other Freda for about three years. Things must be going well, as they’re considering opening other locations, possibly in Brentwood or Burbank near NBC.
We arrived early—as we usually do—and some commotion was already in play, including a birthday celebration by a family so comfortable that they sounded like they forgot their restaurant manners and were carrying on like they were having dinner at home.
The Sunkist-soaked interior is earthy, reminding me of some breakfast nook in the Midwest. Persia meets Kansas, I guess.
We went for their Dinner Special for Two ($32), all accented by ionized water used for cooking, washing of the veggies, and beverages. It made a huge difference in the freshness of the food.
The hummus starter had a nice garlic kick that stayed with me until the following morning, keeping the vampires at bay. Next, I had the Aush soup, chocked with a variety of greens, garbanzo beans, and you guessed it, more garlic. Yum.
I also enjoyed my pal’s clean garden salad with greens, cucumbers and a zingy balsamic dressing.
The special included a skewer of marinated ground beef—which was ok—but it was improved with a bit of sumac, a crimson colored spice derived from berries.
The better choice was their marinated chicken, which was extraordinary. The grilled vegetables flanking the main dishes had a nice fresh snap. Also good was their Basmati rice and wildly delicious zereshk polo, a popular rice dish with dried barberries.
We doggie bagged most of the meal to save room for the baklava, but it was a bit too rich for me, although less disciplined diners would easily scarf it down.
I wish they had a liquor license, but if this isn’t an issue for you, head on down to Reyhan to enjoy your Persian feast. The garlic aftermath will remind you of your good fortune for many days to come.
There is free parking in the lot, or street parking is also available.
Reyhan Persian Grill, 11800 Jefferson Blvd., (310) 390-6800