I first went to this restaurant a couple of years ago on the suggestion of an Armenian baker, from who I had gone to buy some goodies. The restaurant had left an indelible impression, and since I found myself visiting Burbank, I decided to take my Armenian friends to this restaurant. The previous night, when I had inquired with the local Armenians, they had all given me a huge thumbs up saying, "Yes, definitely go there."
This is a fair-sized restaurant, and the service is excellent. Our waiter, Ara, was a very well-informed and friendly guy who made some suggestions on what we could order and told us whether the portions would be sufficient for the group. We ended up ordering a bunch of appetizers.
We started with tun (yogurt drink), which is slight salty and tastes a bit like Indian salt lassi. A tall glass of this drink costs $1.50. Along with the tun, we got a warm basket of pita bread with some pickled radishes and marinated olives. The olives were a bit too salty for all of us. If you have not tasted the pink-tinged radish pickle, do give it a try. It is not spicy.
Next, we ordered a fattoush salad (for $4), and when we took our first bite of the salad, we were left with a nice minty aftertaste. This salad was made of diced cumbers, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, parsley, fresh mint, spices, and toasted pita bread topped with a lemon dressing. By this time, we were like happy a bunch of happy campers, digging into our salad and the pita bread.
Our next dish was mante, which is similar to the Afghani mantu. These small bow-tie dumplings filled with minced meat and smothered with a tomato and yogurt source explode in your mouth. These are flavorful and absolutely delicious.
Boy, by the time we got the garden kebbeh (veggie kofta), we were stuffed and unable to do justice to the dish. This dish is made of semolina and bulgur crush stuffed with minced walnuts, onions, and pine nuts. The pine nuts really lent the dish a nice flavor.
The damage to our wallet was about $52, which was not bad considering how many dishes we had ordered. We left a generous tip to our waiter since he was incredibly helpful and swift with our orders. I believe on Fridays they have belly dancers performing at the restaurant.
by Kamla Srinivasan
Mt View, California
April 8, 2005
From journal Carousel, awesome food in Glendale, CA