Husband-and-wife team Mike and Fera Hashemi moved their Arya Steakhouse to Palo Alto this month.
The duo opened Arya Global Cuisine in Cupertino in 2007, and it became known for its kabobs with sides of basmati rice and belly-dancing performances. The menu focused on Persian cuisine but also included some Italian specialties from executive chef Mike Hashemi, who spent years living in Italy.
In 2012, the couple opened a second location of Arya in downtown Redwood City, and this restaurant eventually became Arya Steakhouse. Instead of Italian cuisine, the Redwood City restaurant featured seafood towers with crab legs resting on beds of ice and a list of halal, dry-aged steaks that accompanied a menu of Persian kabobs and stews, including the herbaceous green ghormeh sabzi and fesenjoon flavored with pomegranate and ground walnuts. In the "sides" section, a selection of polo, basmati rice flavored with ingredients like dill and lima beans, is listed next to steakhouse standbys mashed potatoes and truffle fries. Eventually, the Hashemis sold their Cupertino restaurant and focused on this multicultural concept that's now relocating to 140 University Ave. in the site that once housed
notable eateries, including Tam Tam Restaurant, Palo Alto Grill and sake bomb-serving Miyake.
Fera Hashemi hopes that under her family's leadership, the space will become an upscale dining destination for all. She says that the diverse menu suits a variety of diners, and Arya serves an entirely halal menu. "We want to be a high-end restaurant for everyone," she said.
Arya Steakhouse had its soft opening Aug. 9 and will eventually be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Arya Steakhouse, 140 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650-304-3119. Instagram: @aryasteakhouse.
Rabbit Rabbit Tea expands to an ice cream shop
Rabbit Rabbit Tea first arrived in California with a boba tea stand inside San Jose's Westfield Valley Fair in the summer of 2018. The company started out by opening boba stores in Taiwan before expanding to China, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S. Rabbit Rabbit Cream, its new sister store that opened last month at Stanford Shopping Center, sells boba tea drinks and soft-serve ice cream inspired by their most popular boba tea flavors.
Soft-serve flavors currently include Thai tea, Kyoto matcha, "Iron Buddha" (oolong tea) and buckwheat milk tea, which is a non-caffeinated and nondairy flavor. Customers can opt for a waffle cone or cup and choose to add toppings such as toasted marshmallow or Oreo cookies. The store sells fruit tea, classic milk tea and drinks such as creme brulee milk tea that are unique to the Rabbit Rabbit franchise. For indecisive customers who love both boba tea and soft serve, Rabbit Rabbit Cream's boba parfaits combine boba, milk tea soft serve and toppings to create a layered dessert.
Rabbit Rabbit Cream plans to rotate its soft-serve flavors every month and sell savory snacks in the near future. The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rabbit Rabbit Cream, 78 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto. Instagram: @rabbitrabbitcreampa.
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