Some people believe that some things get better with time. Wine. Beauty. Wisdom.
In the case of Raffi’s Place Restaurant in Glendale, it’s my belief that the food on the menu has definitely gotten better over time. This may possibly be due to the fact that when I was young, my family frequented the Iranian restaurant so often that it became sort of a weekend tradition.
But isn’t that what good food should do, remind you of good times with people you care about? Perhaps I may be reading too much into the theory of food, but that’s what I experienced when I revisited the restaurant.
The first thing I noticed was the restaurant had expanded exponentially in terms of seating availability. I entered through a vine-covered gate at the back of the restaurant, where the valet is located, and was greeted by a hostess who stood by a modest fountain.
To the right is the kitchen entrance where guests are given an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the kitchen staff at work. Passed the kitchen is the indoor dining area; the rest of the restaurant is made up of a covered patio (to the left) and tables covered by large green umbrellas.
Because the weather was comfortable, my guest and I opted to sit outside, and were seated at a table on the covered patio.
The restaurant is well lit and the ambient noises of the other patrons reminded me of being at a family get together. We arrived just before the lunch crowd. I made it a point to observe the other guests who all seemed to be in good spirits, and generally sat three to a table. It was obviously a very social setting.
Our drink orders were taken quickly by a friendly waiter, followed promptly by appetizer and salad ordering. I decided to play it safe by ordering an iced-tea, but Raffi’s also offers a full line of soft drinks, yogurt soda and imported and domestic beers.
For appetizers we chose an order of hummus and a Greek salad. The Greek salad was typical, but the ingredients were really fresh. Raffi’s also gives complimentary lavash bread and a serving of raw greens, radish and onions to go with your meal.
When deciding to order, I wanted to have a meal I was familiar with so I chose the beef koobideh (luleh kabob), which is spiced lean ground beef charbroiled on a skewer.
The kabob also comes with grilled tomato and green pepper all on a bed of fluffy basmati rice. The koobideh was spiced and cooked to perfection; the beef was tender and juicy.
My guest ordered the baghalli polo, which is a “special mixture of baby lima beans and rice, seasoned with fresh dill weed served with lamb shank.” Despite the unappealing green color of the dish, it was actually really flavorful.
The lamb, which I hardly eat, practically fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. Ordering two separate dishes, while not a mistake, proved that the serving portions are more than generous.
My guest and I were able to take home enough of everything we ordered to recreate our lunch later on for dinner.
Overall my dining experience at Raffi’s Place Restaurant in Glendale was wonderful. The food, from what I remember, was just as delicious as it was years ago.
Although the price of lunch, which reached upwards of $70 including tip and valet parking ($2.50), is a little steep for any college student, but the amount of food and overall ambience of the restaurant is worth it. Plus, you can always split any of the entrees with someone, and after all, food is better when you share it with a loved one.
Raffi’s Place Restaurant
211 E Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205
Mon-Sun. 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.