Thought I'd post on an Iranian place in San Jose that may have been reviewed here before but not that I've been able to find.
A friend and I had dinner at Yas last night. It's a strip mall kind of place (though a single building - might have once been a fish n chips joint or something) on Saratoga Ave (not too far off 280). The decor is clean and nice, but not real interesting or cute. The food, however, was very tasty. We shared kashk-e-bademjan and mast-o-khiar as appetizers. The first is normally thin slices of eggplant topped with garlic yogurt or whey. This version was an eggplant puree topped with artfully placed spirals of yogurt (or maybe whey?) and dribs and drabs of dried mint, toasted garlic, and toasted onion. All in all quite delicious and not greasy as an eggplant dip could be. And it tastes substantially different from baba ghanoush, just in case you were wondering. We mopped this up with squares of lavash, and saved some to eat with our rice (I'm sure this is an Iranian cultural no-no, but what the heck...).
Mast-o-khiar is yogurt, cucumber, and mint dip/salad. This rendition was thick and rich (high fat yogurt - yikes!) with good flavor. I make this at home a fair amount, so I wasn't blown away by it, but it was good and fresh.
We shared khoresht-e-gheimeh for dinner. It was a special that night with beef and eggplant. (The one listed on the regular menu doesn't have any meat in it - in fact, Yas had lots of vegetarian stews/khoreshts, which struck me as odd. Who wants fesenjoon with no meat, or even tofu, to hold all that sauce?) I was pleasantly surprised that this dish was as good as when we make it at home. Again, not greasy at all (some Iranian dishes can be prepared with pools of oil, and I was glad to see this place is more sensible than that). Gheimeh consists of yellow split peas, a tomato-based sauce with some turmeric and saffron, and chunks of beef. The eggplant within (generally optional in this dish) was Asian eggplant and was mushy and non-bitter, the way I like it. At home we make gheimeh with fried potatoes on top, but they didn't have that here. Oh, well.
I had a pretty all right baklava (flavored with pistachios and rosewater) and an Iranian tea (with cardamom) for dessert. The whole thing, which stuffed us so we could barely walk, cost us $30 with tip and just water to drink.
1138 Saratoga Ave
San Jose, CA 95129