By Jason Yassine
Directly across from Pasadena City College lies a traditional Persian restaurant known as Heidar Baba (1511 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena). When entering the restaurant, the first thing that caught my attention was the music. It was a unique sound created from a Middle Eastern guitar-like instrument called the Oud. The music had a classic feel that created an exotic Mediterranean vibe. The wooden furniture was very casual while the decorations added a Persian ambiance to the environment.
The restaurant wasn’t busy so the waitress seated me right away. After placing my order, a complimentary appetizer was brought out. The appetizer consisted of warm triangle shaped pita bread in a fair-sized basket. Accompanied with the bread was a plate of mint, pickled peppers, and small packs of butter. I felt that the appetizer left something more to be desired. Adding olives to the dish would have improved the taste while making everything come together.
The main plate that I ordered was the Koobideh Combo with chicken and beef. In addition, the meal came with a choice of soup, fries, or salad. I selected the salad. Once it arrived, the iceberg lettuce, tomato, broccoli, and cucumber were presented alongside a cup of ranch dressing. The salad was crisp, fresh, and delicious but I would have preferred to see more dressing. The cup of ranch was barely enough to cover all of the fresh vegetables. After finishing the salad, the Koobideh Combo arrived at the table.
This plate consisted of two grilled seasoned beef and ground chicken skewers mixed with grated onions. It also included grilled tomato, green pepper, lime, and a generous portion of Basmati rice. The plate was very warm and the smell of grilled meat filled the air. Visually, the presentation was very appealing with the colorful ingredients. As I bit into the chicken and beef skewers, I was impressed with the savory juiciness of the meat. The Basmati rice complimented the meat skewers with its light fluffiness and added butter. The grilled tomato and green pepper helped enhance the meal in spice and taste.
In my opinion, I enjoyed my overall experience. The environment was relaxing and the vibes were very inviting. The food was delicious and very filling. The portion sizes were big enough to feed two people, which is good for any hungry customer. The service was satisfactory although they could have been faster in helping customers. In the end, I enjoyed my visit to this establishment and would come back again. I would give this restaurant four out of five stars.