UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS. Soltan Banoo delivers on its promise to serve eclectic Persian cuisine. Flavorful and spiced to perfection, the vegan food here does not disappoint.
Arriving hungry (as usual!), we decided to start with the “sambosas” – savory pastries stuffed with spinach, potatoes, green peas, curry, and spices. The sambosas are usually served with Mast o’khiar, a yogurt sauce, but our server suggested the vegan sesame dipping sauce.
As illustrated by the following photo, these “sambosas” look different than the “samosas” served in Indian restaurants. Is it the same dish with a slightly different spelling, or a different dish with a strangely similar spelling? The “name variation” chapter of the following Wikipedia article suggests the former:
Regardless, Soltan Banoo’s version is crispy on the outside, and soft and flavorful on the inside. My only regret is that I had to share.
Next up was the Adasi, a dish of brown rice, lentils, mung beans, and squash. We added organic tofu (shying away from the chicken and lamb shank options). The Adasi has mild flavors and the consistency of risotto. And like risotto, it will not leave you hungry. The lentils, beans, and rice make for a substantial dish – I was only able to eat half of it! (The upside, of course, was my free lunch the next day.)
We also ordered the curry. I had never had Persian curry before, and it definitely stands apart from its Indian and Thai peers. Specifically, our server explained that Iranian cooking does not rely on creams or coconut milk. As a result, Soltan Banoo uses a traditional tomato base for its curry.
This was my favorite dish of the night. In addition to the tomato base, the carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes are cooked in yellow curry and served with basmati rice. We added organic tofu again (surprise!). Although filling, as well, there were clearly no leftovers.
There is plenty for a customer to observe while dining in Soltan Banoo. The interior of the restaurant pairs dark wood chairs and tables with blue walls, decorative wall hangings, and colorful linens and pillows. And the patio even has dark pink cloth billowing from the rafters. Like several restaurants on this block, Soltan Banoo occupies a small house on Park Boulevard and exudes charm.
4645 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92116