Casual dining

Wilmington: Neno’s Norooz for Italian – Persian

2.5 stars for service – 4 stars for the food.

The South Bay is very limited to Persian Cuisine.  There’s Seaside Palace and Fanoos in Torrance, and this place in Wilmington.  It’s not quite Persian, because they also have Italian food.  So this Italian  – Persian restaurant is located few blocks east from the 110 freeway / PCH exit, in a non descript office looking complex, right before Wienerschnitzel.

We drove right past it on Sunday, and had to use the GPS to reroute us.  We arrived a little after noon and we thought the place was closed.  Literally one car was in the tiny tiny parking lot, and the place was dark (probably from the smoked windows).  Not one customer was inside, and I could not find which door was the entrance, as the ENTIRE front is made of glass.  We stood outside taking picture for a good 5 minutes… You’d think the one girl/ hostess/ waitress would have been observant to open the door and gesture us in?


We walked in and the music was BLARING.  I think we were listening to Persian Rap music.  The hostess/ waitress greeted us, and placed us at a table that held 2 people.  You would think she could have given us a comfortable table for 4.. it wasn’t like the place was crowded. The one thing I noticed (aside from the blaring music) was inside of the restaurant was very nice…. much nicer than the awful exterior.

She handed us our menu and walked away. The menu had Italian food and also Persian food. You can get pizza, pasta, and calzone on one page, and koubideh and Persian stews on another. Quite the odd menu.

I noticed on prior yelp reviews that they had a “Lunch Special” valid every day until 4:00.  She didn’t offer it to us, I couldn’t ask her for one (because she disappeared into the kitchen).  I saw the flyer at the front desk when we walked in and sent Stephen to the front and he grabbed us 2 “Lunch Special” menus.

The Lunch Special menu is just a smaller portion of their food, and it also came with a drink.  I was going to order the beef koobideh, which is $12.99 for the entree (which comes with 2 skewers) but chose the Lunch Special (which comes with 1) for $9.99.

Stephen had the Lunch Special of the Gheymeh, which is a Persian beef stew for $10.99 and we added the Kashkeh Bademjoon, an Eggplant dip, as our appetizer.

The hostess/ waitress disappeared in the back, and even though the Persian Rap music was blaring in the dining area, you could hear her cackling with the staff in the back, screeching like a teenager, laughing like she was at a high school event.

The hostess/ waitress came out with our drinks and then a basket of lavash bread, 3 pats of butter and a 1/4 of a red onion.  Later, salt, pepper and sumac.  Our food took a while, but at least it was made to order. The appetizer came out in about 20 minutes, but  it was only 5 minutes before our entrees.  I wished they spaced out the cooking time so we could have enjoyed the appetizer for what it was supposed to be, as a starter, not as part of our meal.

My beef koobideh was juicy and tender, and the tomatoes were delicious.  The rice was nice and fluffy and generous portion.  Stephen enjoyed his stew as well.  For “Lunch-size” portions, they were perfect.

Overall the food was great, and I won’t ding them for that.  The prices were even reasonable. The service? God awful. and we were the ONLY ones in the place.  If I had to rate this place for the lousy service, it would easily be a 2 1/2 star review.

 

Neno's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato