Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Rumi by Famous Kabob seemly popped up out of nowhere on Sunday in San Rafael's Montecito Plaza with an opening celebration that served about 1,000 people! No wonder I couldn't get any parking to shop at Trader Joe's! The waiter said that today was their 2nd day of opening, and the ink was barely dry on the menus.
I was brought the most wonderful, warm, freshly baked "Taftoon" bread while I was musing over the extensive and tempting menu. It was nicely scored so it was easy to break off and wrap around the butter, and later the herbs that came on the main dish. I passed by the traditional oven when I headed towards the restroom just before leaving, and saw with my own eyes the dough being hand rolled and scored before placing in the oven. A real 'wow' factor here.
And one thing I've discovered is that if you hear of authentic Persian soup being served anywhere, run, don't walk to get there. Persian soup is incomparable. The menu is very veggie-friendly with stars next to vegetarian dishes. However, the menu missed this one, which when I inquired, found it is actually vegetarian, although not so marked. The description my Aush Reshleh is that it is made with a variety of herbs such as parsley, cilantro, spinach and chives and a variety of beans like lentils, garbanzo and kidney beans as well as flour noodles. The soup is topped with kashk (similar to sour cream) and sauteed mint. This complex and delicious soup was very hearty and served in very large portion, such that you could definitely make a light meal out of this with the Taftoon.
For my entree I ordered the Prawns Kabob (Kabob Maygou) which was served with some herbs, a broiled tomato and a large fluffy pile of Perisan basmati rice. The jumbo prawns are butterflied, marinated and then roasted over an open flame. These were moist and succulent. I also liberally sprinkled some fresh sumac that was on the table over them.
Persian Gardens are famous for their beauty, and intended to be a 'paradise on earth'. Well, the flavors of this meal evoked that image for me, it was beyond delicious! The service and ambiance was stellar as well, and one of the staff (perhaps one of the owners) took my hand in both of his as I was leaving, sincerely asked how I liked the food, and if I'd come again. What an exquisite old world gesture. I was touched and said of course, and I'd bring some friends!
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