I came here thinking that this was the North OC outpost of Darya in South Coast Plaza. However, after I saw the bill I found out this is the sister restaurant of an outpost in Santa Monica. All 3 just happen to have the same
I recently went to Saffron Grill (SG) in Orange and so I will make some comparisons. I ordered the chicken shish kabob ($11.99). It costs $1 more if you want 1/2 salad and 1/2 rice. I also found out that the difference between chicken kabob and chicken shish kabob is that the kabob only has white meat. The shish kabob has white and dark meat and is considered more flavorful. They also offer a lot of lunch specials: Salads w/ some type of kabob on top, reasonably priced entrees and more expensive & complex dishes.
This dish is $1 more than Saffron Grill and it was worth it. This dish had more flavor compared to SG. SG does provide more food (a full salad is included and you receive a full plate of rice). However, the kabob was more aromatic at Darya and the nan was better quality also: 4 Stars (knocked off one star because of the half-half thing w/ the salad and rice).
The ambiance is nice. The place was buzzing on a Wed around 12:30. There were also a lot of Persians in the restaurant (always a good sign when the natives patronize their own cuisine): 4 Stars. The service was OK. It took a while for someone to acknowledge me and I had to ask for a refill on H20. However, they were not rude: 3 Stars.
The verdict between Darya and Saffron Grill: I like both places and I rated both 4 stars. When I want to spend a little more, do more people watching and eat better tasting shish kabob I will come here. When I feel like having tahdig on the side, I will go to Saffron Grill.
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