08.16.14, Saturday @ Aria Grill (Oakland)
Spending all day Saturday getting the house ready for my parents’ visit, the BF and I took a break for our usual Saturday date night. Both tired and not really having any idea where to go at almost 9 pm, we drove around and stumbled upon Aria Grill which is located in Oakland Chinatown.
I recognized Aria right away from my Yelp bookmark. We were nervous walking in at 8:35 pm knowing that closing time was at 9 pm. However, the staff was very welcoming. There were people who walked in at past 9 pm and were about to leave but once again the staff encouraged them to stay and not worry. Really friendly service!
Aria is a casual Afghan/Mediterranean restaurant.
The small space is decorated with Middle Eastern rugs on the wall, mirrors and velvet pillows. It was modest but cozy.
Hot tea was promptly delivered to us. I always appreciate it when tea is provided when dining. It makes me feel welcome right away.
The BF loves eggplant so we ordered the eggplant appetizer which was topped with yogurt and served with bread. Very nice!
They no longer had salmon so I ordered a Pumpkin Dish with seasoned brown rice. The pumpkin was nice and sweet and a nice contrast to the savory rice.
The BF had the combination lamb and chicken kabob with brown rice. He gave me a piece of chicken and it was juicy and well-seasoned. He is a happy with his order.
$43.42 including tip
Aria is a winner. The crazy thing is Kamdesh, another delicious Mediterranean restaurant, is just 3 doors down. You cannot go wrong with either restaurant, except if you are looking for ambiance, Aria is cozier, more nicely decorated and has more space.
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