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Important Course: Baran

Zereshk polo, house-made hummus, and the standout Shirazi salad lure diners at Baran. {Photograph} by Emily J. Davis

WHether it is dangerous luck, weak administration, or dreary fare, some addresses simply refuse to maintain good eating places. We have all seen—these areas the place eateries die a lingering loss of life each couple of years, forgotten the second the following sufferer arrives.

That is how I discovered Baran Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar. After watching three yawners come and go to this website in a meandering Anaheim heart, I gave the beginner a check drive and one thing uncommon occurred—I returned. 5 occasions ultimately rely.

The placement is, to be well mannered, difficult—buried within the farthest nook of a middle adjoining to busy prepare tracks. However it’s freeway-close and steps from a 10-screen cinema. Early snooping in June yielded little background in regards to the freshly open Baran Mediterranean Restaurant. A rudimentary web site and some doubtful Yelp raves have been all I dug up earlier than attempting dinner on a weeknight. The primary shock was a tasteful end-to-end makeover starring roomy cubicles, glittering chandeliers, and a dramatic wall mural that extends throughout the ceiling. This eating room by no means appeared so stylish.

Navid and Elnaz Daneshpour plus associate Kyle Naderi are the workforce behind this sweeping transformation. Additionally they recast the so-so patio as a walled backyard with fountain, twinkle lights, and scrolled iron gate. It is a laid-back wonderland for pals and households sharing kebab feasts on sultry nights. Clearly, this trio faucets into north county’s Persian group, although all are welcomed with gracious hospitality.

The patio is ideal for lingering over a meal with family and friends. {Photograph} by Emily J. Davis

Straight-up traditional Persian delicacies is the draw right here. Anticipate zero fusion fare. Do not rush taking within the huge menu, simply order a drink to accompany the free of charge heat lavash and chilly butter as you nibble and slim your selections. A number of conventional cold and warm appetizers beckon, main with the straight ahead panir sabzi—a finger meals array of walnut halves, chunks of clean feta, and a bouquet of recent herbs for bundling. Vibrant house-made hummus is addicting and appears to enrich every little thing on the desk. Dolmeh—slow-simmered grape leaf bundles of rice, floor beef, break up peas, and herbs—are even higher dunked in maust musir, yogurt with chopped shallots. Zeytoon parvardeh are a uncommon menu discover in OC, inexperienced olives filled with garlic, pomegranate, and floor walnuts. Every olive is tart, candy, flavorful, clean, and crumbly. Splendidly sophisticated.

Two salads stand out—the recent chopped Shirazi salad, a glistening heap of tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and onions; and the Baran home particular of crisp greens, tomatoes, recent corn, lentils, cranberries, and feta. In case you’re not into French dressing of lemon and olive oil, there is a balsamic vinegar choice. No ranch or honey mustard on this menu.

All roads finally result in aromatic stews, elaborate rice, and, in fact, succulent kebabs with grilled greens and a profusion of fluffy basmati rice. Kebabs are straight ahead affairs: There’s little to no intervention earlier than varied meats are threaded on skewers. That places plenty of strain on each the kitchen’s grill expertise and the basic high quality of the featured proteins. Not a single kebab was under- or overcooked. From big shrimp to flavorful hen to the lavish filet mignon, each meat was luscious with expertly singed edges. Even the koobideh (beef and hen)—these lengthy, crimped planks of spiced floor meat—stay succulent.

Rack of lamb. {Photograph} by Emily J. Davis

Although accessible all 12 months, stews are particularly alluring proper now. Hearty gheymeh bademjan, a tomato-y mix of sauteed eggplant, yellow break up peas, dried lime, and chunks of tender veal is a winner. One go to, the vegetable-rich ghormeh sabzi was over-simmered right into a texture-free sludge—much better is the baghali polo with its tender lamb shank in a soupy broth with lime bean rice on the aspect. 4 extra mixed-rice dishes could be ordered as sides or entrees, every that includes a star ingredient, say bitter cherries or lentils. Entree parts embrace braised hen, or, within the case of my favourite lubia polo, inexperienced beans and diced filet mignon.

LEaving with leftovers is inevitable given the beneficiant parts. Candy fiends ought to save room for fabulous choices. LA has many premium purveyors, which permits Baran to pick out the silkiest saffron rosewater ice cream and delicate baklava. 4 delectable non-Persian specialties come from an off-site patisserie. Midweek lunch specials embrace a number of sandwiches and well-liked kebab plates, gotten smaller and worth. Observe lunch with 30 p.c off any drink at pleased hour and voilà, an ace excuse for exiting the workplace early on Fridays.

After a decade of gradual fails, this quirky nook ultimately has a keeper. A classy makeover, interesting fare, and gracious hospitality have a method of constructing repeat enterprise. I hope Baran will anchor this location for a protracted and pleased tenure.


5645 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim Hills
714-340-0035

5 BEST DISHES

  • zeytoon parvardeh
  • Baran or Shirazi salad
  • pole bass
  • any kebab
  • Saffron rosewater ice cream

PRICE RANGE

Lunch, $12 to $18 Dinner appetizers, $7 to $14
Entrees, $21 to $36 Desserts, $5 to $11

FYI

Baran means “rain” in Farsi.

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