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Today we had a celebratory birthday lunch for two colleagues.  The clock struck 11:55 am and it was time for lunch and we heard the call… “Time to go now!”  All the ladies gathered their keys, coats, and bags and headed for our lunch destination.

The restaurant – Raffi’s Place.  It’s a family-owned Persian restaurant located in Glendale.  Being a glorious California November day, although a bit chilly, we opted for patio seating. 

With the onset of hunger pangs, all of our stomachs anxiously waited to feast.  We never seem to tire of the charbroiled meats, seasoned with special Middle Eastern spices and grilled to perfection.  Raffi’s is the type of restaurant people dream to own.  Unlike many restaurants that have come and gone, Raffi’s has made a mark for itself and is here to stay – their quality and consistency is solid every time.  Not to mention, the wait staff is always friendly and the valet guys are great.  Their success can also be seen in that they have since expanded their establishment to accommodate twice the number of people.  On any given day, the seats are generally filled to capacity as cars line the valet service.  Their simple, good food, keeps people coming back for more, time and time again.   

 The portions are huge – we enjoyed our meal in a shared, family-style setting.  Guaranteed, no one left hungry.  Strategically, we ordered a number of beef, chicken, and fish entrees, and additional appetizers to ensure we covered all of our bases.  The entrees all came with an enormous mountain of fluffy basmati rice, grilled tomatoes and Anaheim chilies.

My two personal favorite entrees are their chicken and beef, hands down – served in the style of the Barg or Shish Kabob.  The Barg is grilled thin and flat while the traditional Shish Kabob is marinated chunks of meat.  The whole meal experience was not complete without the yogurt and Moussir (strained yogurt with shallots) and eggplant (grilled eggplant with tomatoes and garlic).

Although everyone has his or her own eating preference,  I like to make a small taco-style wrap and pile everything inside: I start with half a piece of lavash (Middle Eastern flat bread), fill with meat, tomato, chile, yogurt, eggplant, and last but not least some basmati rice… HEAVEN in the making!

Six lavash wraps and a cup (more like two) of coffee later, the hunger pangs have since dissipated, and food coma started to set in…ah what a vicious cycle of life to endure!

Until we meet again… I can’t wait!!!