I have a confession to make. I work a few blocks from Arya, a Persian restaurant on Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino, CA. In my 2 years of working in this facility, I have not ventured to Arya. Ever. Someone that I dont remember anymore gave me a vaguely negative review of the place. For a foodie like me, that should not have been a deterrant. But it ended up being one. Until now.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Arya for the first time. Today, I made my second trip to the place and I believe I have sampled enough to recommend the place. Now for the detailed review.
Arya is a Persian place in Cupertino. They call themselves global by throwing in some Italian and American dishes but to me, they are inherently better off claiming their food as Persian. They kind of competes with Kabul, Dish Dash and Chelo Kababi in the neighborhood for reasonable Mediterranean fare at $$ prices. The restaurant is spacious, well decorated and overall- very welcoming. From both my trips, there were items that stood out as extremely well done.
The menu looks less vegetarian friendly than what it is. During my first trip, we ordered the sampler platter appetizers which were great. The pomegranate lemonade was very interesting. The second time around, I opted for the safer drink bet- the lassi like Doogh. They also offer complementary bread with a side of a mint based spicy chutney that is pretty good.
I ordered my main vegetarian lunch dish – a vegetarian platter with the Adas Polo (persian rice with dates, lentils, raisins and saffron), Persian side salad with diced cucumbers, and vegetarian kabab. The flavors in the rice are alone worth a trip to the place. It smells and tastes wonderful. The raisins, lentils and dates make it an exotic dish. The rice is well cooked and particles are distinct. The Vegetarian Kabab (less mushroom for me) is also very good and very flavorful without any heat.
Overall, my group was incredibly happy with the food both times. I can heartily recommend Arya as a good lunch place for vegetarians in the South Bay.
Ambiance: 8.5/10. The place looks very Eastern with hookahs greeting you at the entrance. Nice ambiance overall.
Service: 8.5/10. Service was very good and attentive.
Food: 9/10. Both trips, I loved my food. Just loved the flavors.
Price: 7.5/10. Arya is not your cheap lunch place for sure. But you get a good lunch for sure.
Overall: 8.5/10. I enjoyed my two lunches at Arya. I would not hesitate recommending it and definitely plan on making a trip again.