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Price hike at Caspian = ISO new Persian recs in OC (esp. Irvine)

Joy | Feb 19, 200610:12 PM

Boo hoo... Last time we went to Caspian (on Culver in Irvine), we thought the prices seemed a little higher than before, but now I think those were the new-old prices and last night we got our first taste of the new-new prices. Comparing the bill to the (older) online menu when we got home confirmed it: every item had been increased by at least $1-2, some as much as $5 more (and when the chicken soltani goes from $16.99 to $21.99, suddenly that doesn't look like so much chicken after all). The total bill for the five of us (four adults and one child) would have been $98 with the online menu prices (not including wine, tax, or tip) but cost $129 last night. That's a 30% increase, ouch!

Not to mention that we paid $32 for a bottle of wine that I later learned was selling for $6 at Bevmo this week -- how's 5.3x retail for a markup? Quintuple ouch.

(With everything included, it was $173 + tip.)

The somewhat fancier new decor doesn't make up for the price hike, IMHO. And the food quality, if anything, has decreased a little. Also, we were not happy with the (literally) wall-sized projection screen of TV sports right next to our table as we tried to enjoy our Saturday dinner.

So, although Caspian has been one of our favorites for years, we are now in search of a new Persian restaurant. I don't mind higher prices, if the quality, service, and overall feel/decor are commensurate. I'm too heartbroken to just grab randomly. Please, fellow chowhounders, take me by the hand and lead me gently to the light. Thanks in advance!

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