Bandar is a family owned restaurant since 1996.
It’s often interesting learning the former careers of restaurant owners and that of Behrooz Farahani and his wife Shokooh Farahani, owners of the downtown San Diego Persian restaurant, Bandar, are no exception.
Behrooz Farahani graduated in Tehran, soon thereafter owned his own architectural firm, was married, had twin daughters and moved to Vienna. On a visit to San Diego from Vienna in 1986, he decided he could provide his family with a better life and jumped at the opportunity to open a restaurant. Behrooz and Shokooh opened the restaurant in a historical building in San Diego’s renowned Gaslamp Quarter in which they would call Bandar, meaning “port” where Behrooz was born.
Bandar originally opened for business in 1996 under owner Behrooz Farahani, his wife Shokooh, and two daughters (Tiba & Golsa). The dual combination of Behrooz Farahani’s new cooking techniques and classic architecture helped to make Bandar a staple in San Diego fine dining for over the past two decades. Bandar’s menu offers a classic variety of Fresh Prime Steaks, World Famous Chicken, Seafood, Vegetarian and classic Persian specialties. All entrees are charbroiled and prepared with the freshest ingredients, while being low in fat but flavorful. Bandar is best known for its use of fresh, gluten free, healthy ingredients and bold complex flavors. Dining at Bandar is truly inspiring from the stunning ambiance to the variety of signature entrees.
Persian cuisine is exotic, healthy, and gluten free consisting of a combination of fresh filet mignon beef, lamb, chicken, organic fish, garlic, onion, vegetables, nuts, pomegranate, basmati rice and herbs. To achieve a delicious taste and a balanced diet, unique Persian spices such as saffron, limes and different vegetables are mixed delicately, Persian food fits perfectly with today’s lightened eating style.
From a cultural point of view, Persian food has always been considered an art form, providing enjoyment to both body and mind. The techniques have been passed down from generation to generation.
Continuing its success story, in 2009 the restaurant moved to a larger location. Behrooz Farahani combined his talents in architecture with cooking and creating the now premier Persian restaurant Bandar, offering an atmosphere that is truly chic and unique, with a classic scene and distinguished ambience. Featuring polished wood ceilings that travel in dramatic waves from wall to wall, the entire room is infused in a warm tangerine glow. Brilliant streaming chains flow alongside for viewing pleasure.
Bandar has been offering San Diegans and visitors alike a unique and flavorful experience, which remains both memorable and addictive. The staff is always accommodating and graceful in service. Bandar is the proud recipient of over 100 awards since 1996. Rated excellent by San Diego Zagat Survey, awarded Best Service by San Diego Magazine and voted as the Best Persian, Ethnic, Business, Fine Dining and International Cuisine.
The restaurant holds many records in San Diego: receiving its first review just weeks after opening their doors by the famous food critic Elenor Widmer in the San Diego reader and is a San Diego five star restaurant that has maintained its status of excellence for more than 2 decades. Critic Reviews have came in from San Diego Zagat Survey, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Home and Garden, Downtown News, US Commerce Association, San Diego Readers Magazine, San Diego Business Journal, Daily Transcript, San Diego Union Tribune, La Jolla Light and many more. Here’s what the Critics had to say about Bandar Restaurant:
“Bandar prepares the finest Persian food in the city.”
-Eleanor Widmer – Reader’s
“A Wonderful addition to the Gaslamp.”
– Zagat Survey
“Recognized as one of the area’s Top Restaurants rated excellent”
“The best chicken I have had all year long was at Bandar.”
– Stephen Silverman of KPBS Radio
“Paradise found! Bandar offers Persian cuisine in historic downtown site.”
-Jack White of SD Business Journal
“Bandar a taste of Persian perfection.”
-Robin Kleven of Union Tribune
“Like any good Persian restaurant. Bandar has it all.”
“Bandar is a tasty adventure in the Gaslamp.”
-Andy & Tina Rathbone of SD Daily Transcript
“Dining in elegance, indoctrinate yourselves to the culinary joy of Persian cuisine”
-Sue Garson of La Jolla Light
“Bandar is a winner no doubt about it”
-W. Douglas Verkaaik of SD Union Tribune
“Bandar has been voted a favorite restaurant by readers of San Diego Home & Garden”
Bandar is conveniently located downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter just blocks from the Convention Center. It’s no surprise that it has become known as Southern California’s most elegant Persian restaurant.