Bandar Restaurant - The Persian Cuisine Standard
by: Wesley Somoza
Owner of Visit Southern California
Bandar Persian Prime Restaurant
845 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(open 7 days a week – Holidays Included)
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11:30pm
Prices Per Person (Not including alcohol):
Lunch: $25-$45 per person
Dinner: $35-$60 per person
The Story & Menu:
|Owner Behrooz Farahani|
This family owned restaurant which opened its doors 20 plus years ago in 1996 is a San Diego landmark in the Historical Gaslamp Quarter. Founder Behrooz Farahani moved his family to San Diego back in the late 1980s in an effort to provide the best opportunity for his family and jumped at the chance to own a restaurant. Having grown up and lived in Tehran Behrooz’s restaurant concept would be heavily influenced by the Persian cuisine he grew up with, but with influences from other parts of the world in which he had traveled and lived.
Having a degree in architecture provided the amazing decor patrons see when they enter the restaurant. The classic/modern approach to the restaurant design gives Bandar its character and elegance. The decor details and mood the restaurant sets streamlines perfectly into the new age upscale feel of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Bandar originally opened for business in 1996 under owner Behrooz Farahani, his wife Shokooh, and two daughters (Tiba & Golsa). The dual combination of Behrooz Farahani’s new cooking techniques and classic architecture helped to make Bandar a staple in San Diego fine dining for over the past two decades. Bandar’s menu offers a classic variety of Fresh Prime Steaks, World Famous Chicken, Seafood, Vegetarian and classic Persian specialties. All entrees are charbroiled and prepared with the freshest ingredients, while being low in fat but flavorful. Bandar is best known for its use of fresh, gluten free, healthy ingredients and bold complex flavors. Dining at Bandar is truly inspiring from the stunning ambiance to the variety of signature entrees.
Persian cuisine is exotic, healthy, and gluten free consisting of a combination of fresh filet mignon beef, lamb, chicken, organic fish, garlic, onion, vegetables, nuts, pomegranate, basmati rice and herbs. To achieve a delicious taste and a balanced diet, unique Persian spices such as saffron, limes and different vegetables are mixed delicately, Persian food fits perfectly with today’s lightened eating style.
From a cultural point of view, Persian food has always been considered an art form, providing enjoyment to both body and mind. The techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. Bandar Website
Bandar has won multiple dining awards throughout the years including the Lamplighter Award for Favorite Fine Dining is San Diego, the Zagat Best of Dining and Readers Choice Award for food and service. These awards are all well deserved.
We first discovered bandar back in 2002 and I personally got to meet and get to know Mr. Farahani. He is not only a great chef and owner but an extremely generous person. As we were doing some video work for the restaurant he only wanted to make sure we were well feed and taken care of. It was a lot of fun to work with him, however I was truly blown away with the food.
Up until this point my food senses when it came to Persian food were rather limited to cucumber salads (which I do enjoy). However the first time I had the SHISH KABOB (PRIME CENTER-CUT FILET MIGNON) I was hooked! This great tasting meal is a true pleasure to enjoy. The prime center-cut filet is perfectly prepared and plentiful. In fact depending on how much you can eat this entree could easily be a meal for 2 people. The Basmati Rice that it was served with was hot and buttery and the grilled veggies provided the right combination with the filet.
The wine list is first rate as you would expect from a fine dining restaurant and the bar is modern elegance that is ideal for date night or business function. Bandar also offers off-site catering and private dining in its large restaurant. Besides the great assign filet entrees Bandar does have chicken, lamb and seafood entrees. They have a vegetarian menu and do accept reservations. If you are staying in the area you may even consider a take out order from the restaurant.
Most days the restaurant will have patrons moving through on a regular basis due to the history and popularity of the restaurant, but the service is first class and you feel well take care of. The food presentation and attention to detail makes every entree look like a magazine photo shoot.
We highly recommend visiting Bandar and hope to have a video representing the restaurant shortly for you to preview.