1245 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410937.787344 -122.421758
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Civic Center
Take your money somewhere else... – I booked this place for my brother's birthday for 20 people. Even though I called three weeks before and booked the private dining room, they double-booked it, and we were moved to the general dining area.
In our initial conversations, they gave me a per person price over the phone ($38), took a $500 deposit and no further pricing/invoice was sent, so I communicated that price to my family coming to dinner. But when the bill came, it was almost $50 per person. It left me and my family unprepared, which is not how we wanted to end an evening, especially an evening that costs $1,000 for 20 people. I had to ask people for more money at the end of dinner, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone.
For that price, we should have had more than enough food, and we didn't - some people in our party did not have enough to eat. And then the servers came in and took our food before we were done! They just started clearing plates. I have no idea why that happened. At least 6 people in our party did not finish their dinner.
In addition, the tip was added to the taxed amount, which is incorrect. You do not tip on tax. Further, given that the service suffered, a 17% tip was completely inappropriate.
When we brought all of this to the manager's attention, she took $40 off of the over $1,000 bill. Hardly even a gesture. I didn't want to create a scene, so decided to be done with it and follow up the next day. I contacted the owner who said he would take care of my issues but needed to call me back, and haven't heard back from him.
The staff and setup of the whole evening was geared toward making money off of us and get us out as soon as possible. Not the kind of environment during a meaningful family event.
For $1,000, we should have had enough food, great service, and respectful communication and a more accurate per head price before the event. Still waiting to hear from the owner...
Citysearch Editorial Review – Since it first opened in 2001, Alborz, one of the only Persian restaurants in San Francisco, still struggles to get to the attention it deserves. Not only do some fantastic regional dishes remain undiscovered, but there's also never been enough overflow to push people into the kooky, homey lounge adjacent to the restaurant's teeny bar. The menu here is lengthy, but it's the kebabs that steal the show: An impressive variety are served, most being the familiar chunks of tenderly skewered meats, but the Joojeh with bone features a whole Cornish hen, marinated with olive oil and saffron. Another perk, especially for people working in near proximity, is that it offers a lunch menu, which is exciting since lunch options on this stretch of Van Ness are decidedly meh.
Horrible Customer Service – SLEAZY!! We purchased a gift certificate for them through Restaurant(dot)com - but they refused to honor claiming that they "didn't have a contract with them anymore and didn't have to honor it." The restaurant was almost completely empty and we were there for the first time - but they didn't care if we left... so we walked out. Contacting Restaurant(dot)com revealed that they have never cancelled their gift certificates with them, so they apparently are just using those gift certificates to get people in the door. Didn't work with us. We will never go back again!
NOTE: Only gave them 1 star because we couldn't give them zero.
Editorial Review – This authentic Persian restaurant near Pacific Heights serves up koobideh, kebabs and some of the city's best baklava.
Baklava to DIE for! – Great place for dinner before running across & down Van Ness to see a movie! The standard fare with some twists to please. The kabobs were artfully done to perfection; seasoned & tender as could be. The pomegranate chicken offering was delightful even tho the chicken was abit overcooked this time around, next it could be perfect. The basmati is so very good & "nutty". No matter what a visit to this establishment is desired for the unbelievable baklava; no words can describe this taste sensation, this is truly the crowning glory for this kitchen.
Excellent Persian Food! – I've been to Alborz 3 or 4 times and the service has been excellent. While the prices can be a little steep when you add in all the extras (two people can easily be 40-50 dollars), its an overall excellent restaurant. The Koobideh is excellent, they don't hold back on the sapphron, and if you speak Farsi, the waiter/waitress often can converse with you. I had a dinner party of 14 there and was very pleased with the level of service.
Very Good Neighborhood Restaurant – I'm a little surprised by the other reviews I see for the restaurant. This is a very solid neighborhood restaurant. If you rate it as a destination restaurant, it will fall short. It's best to think of it as a great place to get a reasonably priced meal before or after a movie. The food is consistent. I agree with some that some of the dishes feature dry meat. I always get the ground beef or shrimp skewers. Those are consistently good. I would not travel clear across the city to eat here, but it's a great choice in the neighborhood if you are already nearby.
moist meat & unique flavors – Try the Alborz platter for two to try 2 of each skewer along w/two plates of the best rice anywhere. The saffron and sumac seasoning is so unique. The service is serious and professional. Some may be confused by the raw onion served as a compliementary appetizer along w/feta, herbs and pita - but please know this is a Persian tradition as a start. And, it goes great with a glass of red wine. Just put a sliver of white onion on the pita and roll it up w/feta and a large portion of herbs. So yummy.
Food Dry – I went to Alborz recently and found the food very dry, overpriced for the amount you received and the service was poor. Don't waste your money.
Meat was dry – I tried this restaurant due to the high rating. I discovered that the meal I had was very dry. I think this restaurant is overrated. Don't spend your hard earned cash at this place. They will rob you blind with the price of the bill.
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