Mission Viejo, CA: Hatam Persian

img_5833 What a hidden gem!!  You really do need to know it’s here, as it’s tucked in the back of a strip mall, near a Jack in the Box and sandwiched between a WaBa fast food and Pilates place. On the outside, it looks like a fast food joint, very vanilla and quite unimpressive. Open the door, and you’re greeted by a pleasant host and a room that’s beautifully decorated with contemporary furniture. A quiet waterfall is on one end of the restaurant, adjacent to a spiral staircase leading to an upstairs dining area. On the far end of the restaurant is a huge Persian portrait (almost looks like a rug) and the ceiling painted with puffs of clouds.

The menu (most important!) has a little bit of everything from the expected kebobs to the stews to the meats.  I decided on the boneless chicken, while Karen went for the koubideh combination, 1 beef and 1 chicken skewer.  The meal came with two plump grilled tomatoes and a mountain of basmati rice.  Add some butter, some sumac, smash the tomato and you have some good eats!

The price (even more important) was amazingly affordable. $11.99 for Karen’s and $13.99 for mine, which I expected to be more considering its in S. Orange County.  My Persian tea was fresh brewed (not the dunking tea bags) and made my meal complete.

Quite honestly, I can’t find any fault in the service or food.  If I am back in South OC, I’ll come back.