Anar Restaurant, Persian Cuisine in SOMA
The former Mochica space on Harrison has completed its reinvention into ANAR Restaurant, a Persian restaurant. Named after the Persian word for pomegranate, Anar is a family-run spot from the Mohammadi family, who opened the restaurant after running their own place back home in Iran.
Though they’ve transplanted their cuisine to the Bay Area, don’t expect any California fusion here:Kouroosh Mahmoody, whose father-in-law and family runs the spot, tell us that the menu focuses on traditional preparations, many of which aren’t offered at other local Persian spots. Appetizers include dolmeh, naan panir sabzi (herbed feta cheese with bread) and mirza ghasemi (smoked eggplant with tomato and garlic). Kebabs, dishes like fesenjan (chicken with pomegranate sauce, served over rice) the focus of main dishes. For dessert, look for saffron and sweet milk rice pudding, and enjoy drinks like pomegranate juice and doogh, a traditional drink made from yogurt and salt.
The renovation of the space was a family affair as well, and intended to making the 40-seat space, set in an odd corner of SOMA, more warm and welcoming. For now, hours are noon-9:30pm, Monday-Friday (open ’til 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays). However, starting next week the restaurant will be closed on Mondays.