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Dec. 14, Persian cuisine debuts in Paso Robles 

Persian-style chicken shishkabob.

Persian-style chicken shishkabob.

New owners at Su Casa feature dishes from Iran

– New owners who recently opened Su Casa Bar & Grill at 2927 Spring Street. where the old Señor Sanchez on Spring Street used to be, will present a unique evening of Persian cuisine on Wed., Dec. 14.

“We wanted to create a neighborhood-friendly place where locals can hang out and play checkers or backgammon, and a place for tourists to relax and enjoy the low key atmosphere that Paso Robles has to offer,” said owners Mo and Aida Bahmani. “We are planning to have live music that features local bands, and plan to stage events, like a ‘cowboy’ music dance night.”

Mo Bahmani, who came to the United States from Iran, says Su Casa is inaugurating a monthly evening of Persian food and culture on Dec. 14.

Ghormeh sabzi with saffron rice.

Ghormeh sabzi with saffron rice.

“Persian cuisine is ancient, varied and cosmopolitan. Eating habits and products from ancient Greece, Rome and many Asian and Mediterranean cultures have influenced and are affected by this unique cuisine,” says chef Massoume Price, author of Iran’s Diverse Peoples. Price points out that Persian cuisine “has borrowed spices, styles and recipes from India and has in turn influenced Indian food. There are many dishes that are shared by both Iranians and Turks to the extent that it is hard to say who has borrowed what and from where.”

While Persian restaurants abound in Southern California, especially in Los Angeles—home to the largest population of Iranians outside of Tehran, Iran—it’s rare to find Persian food along the Central Coast.

Mo Bahmani will go out of his way to prepare quite a number of classic offerings, and if the response warrants it, Persian cuisine will become more of a regular thing at Su Casa. On his December 14 menu:

Fesenjan, the classic Persian stew (cousin to the Mexican mole), is sweet and tart, prepared with grated walnuts, pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses. It is often made with either chicken or lamb, and served with rice on the side.

Ash-Reshteh stew.

Ash-Reshteh stew.

Ghormeh sabzi, another timeless classic, is a Persian green stew, made with finely chopped parsley, scallions, cilantro, chives and fenugreek, with stewed kidney beans, dried lime and choice of meat (typically beef or lamb).

No Persian meal would be the same without a healthy helping of bright orange-shaded saffron basmati rice. The other popular rice dish Mo is serving is Baghali pollo—green rice with dill, lima beans and lamb.

Paso Roblans will also get to try Ash-E-Reshteh, a wonderful vegetable stew with rice noodles, made of chopped parsley, scallions, baby dill, cilantro, green garlic, slowly cooked with garbanzo beans, lentils, kidney beans & wheat flour noodles, topped with kashk (yoghurt whey), carmelized onion & sautéed mint.

Grilled meat dishes to be served include chicken and beef shishkabob or “barg.”

Among the appetizers and salads, you’ll find Mast-O’khiar, a refreshing yoghurt salad made with cucumbers and mint and topped with crushed walnuts and currants; Shirazi salad, which is another refreshing appetizer comprised of finely chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, with a dash of chopped onion and parsley with a lemon and extra virgin olive oil dressing; and Panir o’sabzi,  found on every Persian table consisting of feta (sheep) cheese with a variety of fresh green herbs, variously including basil, mint, tarragon and scallions, along with radishes and walnuts.

Su Casa is open Sun.-Thurs. from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Fri./Sat. from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Call (805) 369-2272 for more information.

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About the author: Staff Writer Jordan Elgrably

Jordan Elgrably is a staff writer at this publication. Visit his web site at Jordan Elgrably. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Reach him by email with tips or questions, jordan@accesspublishing.com.  

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