If you find yourself in Costa Mesa go visit South Coast Plaza. The shopping is to die for. Then head across the street to Darya. I would say it’s the best Iranian food in Southern California. If you’ve been to LA and seen just how many Persian restaurants there are you’d know that’s no joke. The fancy way to go is the super tender barg (filet mignon). It’s delicious, but it’s always a little overcooked for my taste. I instead prefer the koobideh which is ground meat. It’s always super moist and flavorful. But the best part is eating the butter-y, saffron-y rice after it’s soaked up the meat drippings.
And don’t forget to start with the Tadig. It’s crunchy rice (that develops in the bottom of a pan when you cook Persian rice) served with a variety of stews. I once read that only a few languages have a word for crunchy rice. Well, that’s too bad because really everybody should be incorporating it into their cuisine.