The Irvine Grill brings a contemporary style of Persian delicacies to a brand new neighborhood – the Orange County Register
It’s January and most of us are starving for healthy foods that aren’t boring. The Irvine Grill, which opened in September during the pandemic, is worth a fresh look as it just added lunch specials to the menu.
Specializing in Persian cuisine with grilled meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, it offers baklava and some other elegant desserts with aromatic flavors like rose and saffron.
Sisters Ana Ariarad (30) and Mahta Ariarad (25) are the masterminds behind the concept. You grew up in Laguna Hills and were born into the grocery store. Her father owns Super Irvine, which is where they started and opened a small coffee shop to boost grocery sales.
“We were actually the owners of the Caspian restaurant next to Super Irvine. We sold that some time ago. But my sister and I were always busy with the restaurant, with the cooking, ”said Ana Ariarad, adding that these are family recipes passed down from her grandmother.
However, as of 2016 there were challenges as Super Irvine was highly competitive. Orange County has many international grocery stores and her family’s market had to grow to keep up, Ariarad said.
“We had a small restaurant area in the shop. It was a small deli and we rented it out to some people who sold pizza for a while and paid us rent. That didn’t work and someone else came and they sold Arabic food and we just had problems. “
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She and her sister, who both have masters degrees, had a plan. “Why don’t we just take this part of the grocery store and sell our own Persian food? We know people love the recipes! “
Move properly. Their Irvine Cafe proved to be a hit. Customers wanted more space to sit and eat.
So the young entrepreneurs looked for a larger location and found it in Quail Hill in the former Lucca Cafe, most recently Caffe Pinguini. With an area of 3800 square meters indoors and two terraces, it turned out to be the perfect place for your restaurant. They decided to do a complete renovation.
“It’s more of a modern look. We have beautiful blue and gold velvet chairs and white marble tables. We also have an open kitchen, ”said Ariarad. “This way, our customers can see the grillers from their seat in the restaurant.”
They developed a menu that suits today’s tastes, with grilled kebobs, salads, stews and even Indian naan cooked on a rotating grill instead of a tandoori oven. The vegetarian dishes ($ 8-14) include fesenjan, a walnut and pomegranate stew, ghorme sabzi with kidney beans and herbs, and other meatless dishes.
The restaurant prepares full family meals of bread, kebobs, and side dishes for four to six people, with two options for $ 44 and $ 58. The signature Aria Platter ($ 85) for five to six guests is a sumptuous feast of beef and chicken kabobs, rack of lamb, and more.
Irvine Grill recently added lunch specials that are available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This includes a skewer of beef, rice, lettuce, and bread for $ 8 or chicken, rice, lettuce, and bread for $ 9.
Although there is no table service due to COVID mandates, guests buying take-away food are welcome to eat on the terrace. The staff disinfects between customers.
Also with beer and wine, the restaurant seems like a tempting addition for locals, bringing Persian cuisine to a new neighborhood in Irvine. “We didn’t realize there were so many Persians in the Quail Hill area until we opened,” said Ariarad.
But you don’t have to be a Persian to be on the menu. Ariarad said there was something for everyone. “All of our kebabs are fresh and grilled and the rice we make is healthy,” said Ariarad. “And we also have a lot of vegetarian options that customers really liked.”
Find it: 6507 Quail Hill Parkway, Irvine, 949-333-3814, irvine-grill.business.site.
To open: Take away daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., delivery via DoorDash.