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Indian, Thai, Mexican, Brazilian, Italian, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese. You gotta give it to San Diego these days, diversity does reign supreme. So with this generous spirit in mind, off we ventured to Soltan Banoo, a self-proclaimed "eclectic Persian Cuisine" restaurant.
The venue itself is charmingly quaint, unpretentious and very neighborly. Seating is available both on the outdoor patio or within the cozy interior. The tables are close together so be prepared to make new acquaintances (and hope you don’t have a loud gathering next to you, like we did). There are also large, extravagant couches lined up at the tables for larger parties. The combination rather looks like you are in someone’s dining room, waiting for a home made meal to be served. Just go with it.
The menu is diverse with selections of seafood, chicken, veggie, beef and lamb, served as kabobs, wraps, salads or entrees. And don’t forget the ever popular hummus which is a must. Our party of three enjoyed as many variations as we could.
We started with an order of the Hummus (ground garbanzo beans, sesame, lemon juice and garlic & pita bread and you can also add olives and herbs). The blend was richly flavored and with the freshly baked bread, scrumptious! Accompanying that was an order of their unique pomegranate soup and a small green salad. The soup was very interesting in taste, with a gentle sweetness to it. Not our favorite, but truly a distinctive blend of authentic flavoring.
For entrees, we ordered a Chicken Kabob (skewers of grilled chicken with vegetables served with Saffron Basmati rice, which came with a Shirazi Salad), along with Loubiah Polo (Basmati rice cooked with chopped green beans, tomatoes, Persian spices and curry, with chicken), and lastly, Albaloo Polo (Basmati rice cooked with cherries, pistachio and saffron with chicken).
The appealing element with all three of the dishes was a subtle sweetness to each of the entrees. Just like with the Pomegranate soup, it made for a stark contrast to most other culinary dishes. The chicken kabob was what to be expected, succulent chicken accompanied with a range of vegetables, all seared to a charming crisp exterior, resting on a bed of Basmati rice made for a great meal. The Loubiah Polo was an intriguing blend of various textures and flavors. With the Persian spices and curry, a wonderfully distinctive combination of an old world culinary delight. The Albaloo Polo continued the festivities with more daring seasoning combinations, the cherries, the pistachios and saffron, all uniquely diverse, but together, terrific!
If you want yet another mundane meal without any adventure, there are lots of establishments to go to, a dime a dozen really. But for something to tantalize your taste buds, give Salton Banoo a shot. You will walk away with an enjoyable meal. Enjoy!
- City: San Diego, CA 92116
- Phone: 619-298-2801
- Name: Soltan Banoo Restaurant
- Address: 4645 Park Blvd