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One of the great things about San Diego is the ethnic diversity in its restaurant choices. Persian food is a favorite of ours and we have had the opportunity to savor several restaurants downtown and beyond. Well we just added another to that list – Bandar restaurant.

We were invited to lunch with a couple of friends (who by the way have steered us to several great venues, these are good people to have around) and we delightfully surprised to find a great venue right under our noses.

Bandar is small allowing for a quaint group of lucky patrons to enjoy their meals without a large crowd around them. It creates a truly nice intimacy that is hard to find. But while small, the venue was never intrusive. We have been to other diminutive locations where you felt like you were involved with the conversation at the table next to you. Not so here but be wary, we arrived for an early lunch and was immediately seated but within minutes the place filled up. That says a lot about Bandar.

Being frequent customers, our friends steered us through the menu and make selections for us. Right off the bat they informed us that we needed to share our orders. Not that any of us were being cheap but because the portions are so large they can easily feed two. Now we know no restaurant wants the reputation that their customers do not need to order their own personal entrée, so we suggest ordering a variety of items, share and share alike and take the rest home.

We started with Bandars’ Hummus Classic (pureed garbonzo and sesame tahini with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice) that was absolutely perfect. Not overbearing in taste with a perfect consistency. Even if you’re not a hummus coinsurer we guarantee you will like this and there was plenty for the four of us. We also sampled their Vegetarian Soup (A’SHE RESHTEH) which was a delicious mixture of lentils, garbonzo beans, fresh herbs, Persian noodles, with a topping of homemade yogurt, sautéed garlic and with mint and onion. There were so many delectable ingredients in the soup that every bite had a different consistency and texture. With the yogurt thickening the soup up into a hearty meal, it was simply wonderful.

For our meals we eagerly shared the Chicken Shish Kabab (marinated juicy chunks of charbroiled chicken tenderloin, served with grilled tomato, onion and bell peppers, basmati rice topped with saffron rice) and the Boneless Lamb Kabab (boneless lamb tenderloin, marinated and served with the same grilled vegetables and rice combinations).

Once again, the portions were huge! The chicken came out in a unique “ball shaped” presentation that made for large chunks of the chicken, which unfortunately was a bit dry but the flavor so made up for it. The lamb on the other hand was perfectly cooked and just oozed with juicy flavor. The combination of the rice and vegetable sides completed the hearty meal pleasingly.

Prices are very affordable at Bandar, especially with the amount of food that you receive. The environment, the food, the service, all made for a perfectly orchestrated lunch that was a delicious treat to this group of foodies. Enjoy!

The good – you cannot beat the portions, they are beyond generous

The bad – hardly a complaint but since the venue is small it can be hard to get in, be sure to make reservations

Details »
  • City: san diego
  • Phone: 619-238-0101
  • Name: Bandar
  • Address: 825 4th Ave