Darya is in one of the satellite malls around South Coast Plaza. I stumbled across this gem one evening many years ago when I couldn't get into one of the other, more boring restaurants. It combines outstanding food, elegant surroundings, and very gracious service. This Persian restaurant has a reputation with Persians I know on the other side of the country. I have long considered it one of the best restaurants in Orange County. While I was tempted by the fesenjon, a walnut pomegranate sauce I have had before, I went with the four course meal.
The bread is very thin, much more so than a pita. It tastes great by itself but also comes in handy for the next course.
This eggplant, rich in both smoked flavor and texture, is a great excuse to dip that bread.
The Persian salad was very crisp and tart. It made a great complement to the eggplant.
Lamb is something I don't eat every day and I really enjoyed my main course. The meat was medium rare, tender and juicy, yielding gently to the fork and knife. I really enjoyed the roasted tomato, slightly charred but still firm. The rice was comforting and elegant.
I ended my meal with this wonderful fruit custard and a cup of decaf.