Best New Restaurants 2023: Baran Satisfies With Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine

Baran Mediterranean Restaurant in Anaheim is a keeper—serving ravishing kebabs and more outstanding dishes.

Baran Mediterranean Restaurant

5645 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-340-0035

After three so-so eateries flopped during the past decade at this address, Baran gives diners a reason to return, even to rejoice. The turnaround kicked off in April with a chic makeover starring glittering chandeliers and a dramatic mural. Lavish portions of classic Persian cuisine are the draw here. Start with vibrant house-made hummus that complements everything on the table. Splendidly complicated zeytoon parvardeh is a rare find—so do try these green olives stuffed with garlic, pomegranate, and ground walnuts. Pristine shirazi salad stands out—a glistening heap of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and onions. All roads lead to fragrant stews, elaborate rice, and, of course, ravishing kebabs. From giant shrimp to juicy chicken to lavish filet mignon, kebabs are luscious with expertly singed edges. Hearty gheymeh bademjan—a tomato-y stew of sauteed eggplant, dried lime, and tender veal—is deeply satisfying. Also lovely—lubia polo rice with green beans and diced filet mignon. Sweets include the silkiest saffron rosewater ice cream and a most delicate baklava. Navid and Elnaz Daneshpour with partner Kyle Naderi manifest this welcome retool that also includes a walled garden that hums with feasts on sultry nights. At long last, the sad parade of fails is over, and this quirky center has a keeper. 

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

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