August 01, 2010

Raffi's Place

Hommus - $5.95

 Chicken Soltani - marinated combination of chicken barg (boneless breast of chicken, skewered and charbroiled) and chicken koobideh (ground leg and breast of chicken mixed with special spices, then charbroiled) with grilled tomato & green pepper. Served on a bed of fluffy basmati rice) - $17.95

For a brief moment, when I entered the restaurant (from Broadway), I felt like I was in another country. The shaded outdoor patio, the hearty portions of food crowding the tables, the clinking of glasses, and the happy eaters who didn't appear to be in any rush were all reminders of how dining experiences should be shared.

Once seated, the servers provided a complimentary basket of thinly-sliced pita bread with a plate of butter, radishes, raw onions, and basil-y mint. The plate was left untouched -- namely because we had no idea what to do with it -- but apparently it's standard to add those dressings to your meat or just simply wrap it in a pita and eat it. The hummus (appetizer) was tasty, the koobideh was flavorful, but the barg was slightly overcooked and less moist than desired. Although I didn't order it, the Abali Yogurt Soda seemed to be a hit on every other table. Given the portion size (aka - huge), the prices are very reasonable.

Overall, I give it a solid 4. It certainly satisfied my kebab craving, and the family-style eating environment really enhanced the whole experience. Next time, I'm going for the beef and eggplant.

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cuisine: Armenian/ Iranian
location: Glendale, CA
hours: M-Sun: 11:30am - 10pm
website: { yelp }
good for: L, D
attire: Casual
parking: street, nearby lot (free 90-min parking); valet ($2.50)
note: Don't be dissuaded by the long line; they seat you fairly quickly.