Throughout the years
Back in the 80’s on a beautiful snowy day, a young man named Behrooz met the woman of his dreams (Shokooh) while she was in town visiting her sister. This encounter led to a romantic love story and a hand in marriage to his soul mate.
Shortly after their marriage they had two adorable twin girls and Mr. Farahani opened a successful Architectural Firm in Tehran. In 1988 during the War the young Farahani family left their home for the promise of opportunity in the US.
Passion for Persian Cuisine
They were passionate about their culture and wanted to introduce Persian Cuisine to their new city, as it has always been considered an art, providing enjoyment to the body and mind. This has been a tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Historic Building #16
In 1995 they found a location to open their restaurant in Downtown San Diego, known as historic Building #16, built in 1905.
A plaque outside delicately testifies to the building’s age and its many previous tenants: the Exchange Cocktail Lounge, a card room, a Mexican restaurant, pawnshop, Zingaro Café, the last occupant made no claims on the public’s attention, possibly because of the café’s somewhat shabby appearance.
The Building’s Condition
The building’s condition only whetted Mr. Farahani’s appetite, he wanted to use his architectural skills to the fullest. But, since the site was a historical building, there were many restrictions. For example, he could not tear down an original, interior brick wall. To get around this, he and his wife washed every brick by hand and plastered and painted the other walls white.
After one year of renovation, the restaurant, which they named “Bandar” meaning “Port” or “Harbor”, was soon complete.
The “Grand Opening” of 1996
On September 15, 1996 at 11:00am, Mr. Farahani was training the kitchen staff while his wife was training the front staff for the Grand opening that was to take place the following week. The door opened and a customer walked in and asked for a table. Puzzled, Mrs. Farahani went back to the kitchen to inform her husband about the guest so they decided to serve him. After seating him, another customer walked in, then another until the restaurant became full. Since this day they never had the chance to have their official Grand Opening and have been busy ever since. Their first day ended with a broken cash register of $659.21 in total sales and marked the first date of Bandar’s Anniversary.
After their “Surprise Opening” Bandar was reviewed by one of the most popular journalists Eleanor Widmere who wrote a beautiful article about the restaurant in the Reader. Soon thereafter Bandar became an overnight sensation. Famous Persian celebrities have dined here along with many other types of people from all around the world. Bandar has been a proud recipient of many awards since 1996 for Best Service, Best Fine Dining, Persian, Ethnic, International Cuisine and rated Excellent by Zagat Survey.
Awards and Renown
Famous Persian celebrities and people from all around the world traveled to come dine at Bandar. Bandar has been a proud recipient of many awards since 1996 for Best Service, Best Fine Dining, Persian, Ethnic, International Cuisine and Rated Excellent by Zagat Survey and many other groups.
The Farahani Family
The Farahani’s have raised the bar for Persian dining with authentic marinades for their fresh prime steaks, world famous chicken, vegetarian options, seafood and classic Persian Specialties. They are committed to serving only the finest meats.
A Staple of San Diego
Bandar is best known for its use of fresh, healthy, gluten free ingredients and bold complex flavors from classic to contemporary. Its delectable dishes, elegant architecture and warm ambience have helped to make Bandar a staple in San Diego’s fine dining for more than a decade.