Eating authentically prepared food lets you taste the very essence of a country and draws far fewer angry glares than chewing on its national flag. Sink respectful smiles into foreign fare with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Persian dinner cuisine at Sadaf in San Diego.
Sadaf's culinary artisans whip together a multi-pronged dinner menu that skewers together juicy kebabs, hearty salads, and other Persian favorites. In the soltani, hibernating teeth can burrow into thin cut sheets of filet mignon kebab and nestle their heads against a savory koobideh pillow to dream of running hand-in-hand with the Tooth Fairy ($24). Poultry pamperers steep the chicken barg tenderloin in a rejuvenating marinade of saffron, onion, and lemon flavors ($20) before its debut plate performance. A baby spring-lamb shank conspires with tomato accomplices to attack dill-weed rice and lima-bean troops ($20), while the mediterranean salad's toasted pita and sea shad utilize an arsenal of lemon and olive oil dressing ($9) to prepare themselves for the inter-kitchen slip-'n'-slide competition.
Muted light bounces from exposed brick and intricate stone carvings offset by simple cream tablecloths and sandy floors, while an overhead mural opens Sadaf up to a vibrant blue sky flecked with clouds and birds. Enjoy authentic heavens, fresh breezes, and chances to yell at the sun on the outdoor patio, or drink in spicy zephyrs on occasional hookah nights.
At Sadaf, variety is the main attraction. Kebabs arrive at tables skewered with juicy bits of chicken, seafood, beef, or lamb and share plate space with saffron-seasoned basmati rice. Exposed-brick walls show off bas-relief carvings of ancient symbols such as the Faravahar, which represents the Iranian nation. A ceiling painted to look like a clear sky with a thin veil of clouds and in-flight birds looks down on diners as they dig into lamb shank, boneless-chicken kebabs, and other delicacies. Weather permitting, guests can snag a seat on the front patio and scan the skies for majestic, soaring ostriches.
828 5th Ave.
San Diego, California 92101