The South Grand dining district has a new restaurant to add to its list of international eateries. Taste of Persia opened on April 6, featuring authentic homestyle Iranian and Afghan cuisine as well as a selection of Indian-style dishes in a casual setting. 

The concept comes from Mohammad Abdolrezagh, who previously owned a variety of restaurants in the St. Louis area. The native of Iran came to St. Louis by way of Russia around 15 years ago and opened his first area restaurant, Grand Mediterranean Kabob Cafe, in 2005. Since then, he also owned and operated two restaurants in West County: Hot and Sour (a Persian, Chinese and Indian food concept) and Chicago Style Dogs, all of which have since been sold.

After working as a cab driver for St. Louis County Cab, Abdolrezagh decided to return to his passion for creating in the kitchen. He shares cooking duties with his wife, Sofia, a native of Afghanistan who brings her own flair to the menu. Taste of Persia is a family business, with the Abdolrezaghs’ daughter Ghazaleh serving as a manager and their son, Ahmad, helping out with front-of-house duties.

Taste of Persia fills a space previously occupied by the supplementary dining room for its next-door neighbor, Baida Moroccan Restaurant The interior features a Persian theme with a red and gold color scheme, embellished with images of historical Iranian architecture. From the menu, choose from a variety of appetizers and entrees.

“Our specialty is Persian food, with the menu combining Persian, Afghani and Indian cuisine,” Mohammad says. “We cook from the heart.”

The Abdolrezaghs’ recipe repertoire combines best-sellers from their previous concepts such as their foremost specialty, the king platter, which features chicken, lamb and beef kabobs served with grilled tomatoes and basmati rice. An appetizer platter also displays a smorgasbord of offerings with falafel, hummus, kashke bademjan (eggplant topped with yogurt and dry mint, served with naan), shirazi salad and chutney.

Another highlight is Afghan-style lamb shank, available with qabeli rice (cooked in lamb juices with carrots and raisins on top) or biryani rice (cooked in lamb juices with chickpeas and peas on top). Desserts include baklava, sheer berenj (rice pudding) and housemade Persian ice cream, which Sofia describes as a vanilla base with hints of pistachio and rose water.

“I feel like our food stands out,” Ahmad says. “It’s different and unique.”

Taste of Persia is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Taste of Persia, 3189 S. Grand Blvd., South Grand Dining District, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.349.1315, facebook.com/tasteofpersiast

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