Monday, April 04, 2011

Hen House Grill - Irvine

Persian rice is something of a miracle. Light and fluffy as if it were made of cotton ball clouds, it is also just slightly tangy, a streak of yellow on top of the basmati mound as bright as mottled sunshine. Hen House Grill does it well and as it should be.

Oh, did I mention the quantity? If there's one other constant with Persian rice at restaurants, it's always doled out in ridiculous portions. A typical serving is always more than enough to feed two. And in Hen House Grill's special chicken koobideh lunch, $7.99 not only gets you the starring starch, but a freshly-baked flatbread the size of a small pizza, two meaty tubes of one of the best char-flecked koobideh's around, two grilled tomatoes, and a drink.

We shared a plate, shoveling the rice, smooshing the tomatoes into an impromptu rice-moistening sauce, shaking flurries of sumac and squeezing lemon juice over our meal. The koobideh, ground and seasoned chicken cooked over flames on a metal sword and unsheathed, simply melts, and in my opinion, trumps the version made at the Wholesome Choice food court next door. And oh yeah, so does Hen House's rice.

Hen House Grill
18040 Culver Blvd #A
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 786-2000

Koba Tofu Grill - Irvine


At 3:33 PM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

It seems like Mediterranean style restaurants serve large portions too along with the Persian restaurants. What a great deal for 7.99! Chain restaurants sometimes can't even beat these restaurants in terms of quantity...

At 11:07 AM, Blogger joanh said...

looks yummy. i miss food like this

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous sewa mobil said...

Very nice, thanks for the information.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


True. The closest chain to the kind of food the serve here would be Daphne's and I can see this meal being at least 10 bucks without the drink! And then there's the quality.


I, too, would miss this if I were away from it for too long. Really a good, simple meal that everyone, whether they are from the Middle East or not would love...charred meat, good rice, and a jiuicy grilled tomato!


Welcome !

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Diamond Dog said...

ummmmm...people....its mostly RICE. Rice does not cost much!

It would be like putting 2 ounces of rib eye steak on 1 pound of mashed potatoes and charging 10 bucks. All the reviews would come in "Hey, at Diamond Dogs place, its suce a deal and WHOA...those portions are HUGE"

Diamond Dog - Censored by the OC Weekly

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Maryam said...

I don't usually comment on blogs, but I thought I would, just this one.

While it is true that rice "does not cost much", chelo, that's what we Persians call this preparation of rice, is not as easy or simple as throwing some grains in a rice cooker. To do it properly, Persian rice takes more time and effort than the meat. To prepare it right, you need to soak the rice in salted water for at least 2 hours, then drain. You cook it with more water for a few minutes until it is barely there. Then you mix it up with yogurt and butter and steam it gently to finish until it is fluffy. The yellow part is done by taking a few spoonfuls of the cooked rice and adding saffron. And if you did all this correctly, you should also get a crisped crust of rice on the bottom of the pan called tadig. It's the best part of it all.

So, yes it's MOSTLY rice, but to me, that's like saying the Earth is mostly just water. True. It is. but without water, there is no life. And without this rice, there is no dish.

By the way, I love you Elmo, but your picture didn't do the dish justice. The koobideh is much larger and more plentiful than what it appears in the photo. I usually can't finish it by myself.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Christine D. said...

Yum. I could seriously forgo the meat and just eat the rice, tomatoes, and butter. Nearest Persian restaurant is sadly 25 minutes away...good for my wallet and waistline, not so much for my soul! haha

Keep eatin'!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Maryam said it best: this rice is indeed special. And yes, I didn't do the dish justice. There were actually TWO, I repeat TWO, long, thick, juicy tubes of koobideh!

And Christine, yes!! This is the one time that the rice is the equal of the protein it accompanies!


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