Owing to fortuitously placed doctor appointments, I've finally managed to lunch twice at this odd little restaurant. It's sort of a schizophrenic cross between a take-out joint and a sit-down restaurant. I'd been wanting to try it for awhile. It's probably not everyone's cup o'tea but I liked it. Reyhaan is a family-run place on the corner of Jefferson Blvd. and Mesmer in Culver City. The service is a little awkward at times but very friendly. I ordered the same appetizer and entree both times I've been there and the food was consistently good.
In fact, I will be forever grateful to Reyhaan for introducing me to Kashk O Bademjan. I haven't eaten a lot of Persian food, so I was completely unfamiliar with this pureed eggplant appetizer.
I was sort of non-plussed when it first arrived. It was sort of an unpromising gray paste floating in olive oil, however, reminding myself that olive oil is one of the "good" fats, I spread some on a piece of fresh pita and took a bite. Dear lord, the flavor explosion made my tastebuds think they'd died and gone to heaven!
I think this is something that needs to sit around so the flavors can marry: The second time I tried it, it was still good but appeared to be freshly made, the flavor was not as intense.
The boneless Chicken Kabob wasn't as much of an eating adventure but it was pretty tasty: A big skewer of grilled, marinated chicken breast chunks served on a bed of Basmati rice with a fresh grilled tomato on the side. The chicken was nicely moist on both occasions and freshly grilled tomatoes are always a good thing. Rice is a little on the dry side for me but others may prefer it that way.
It isn't the cheapest place I've ever lunched but the prices aren't awful: entrees ranged from a $6.95 lunch special to $16.95 for the Soltani Kabob Beef.
All in all: Beat hell out of Denny's.