Saturday, July 31, 2010

Belly Good

Arya Global Cuisine
19930 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95015
(408) 996-9606

Reviewed Friday, July 30, 2010

Some people avoid places like Arya, which serve up two distinct cuisines--in this case, Persian and Italian. It would seem that, if a place had good food, it would not have to have an expansive menu that covers two continents.

Belly Dancer and the hummus match.

Yes, you can get koobideh or farfalle here; and crème brûlée or faluda (mmmmmmm) --or all, which we did. Here in the Bay Area, ethnic mixes like this do not seem that strange.

A salad of mint, basil, watercress, tarragon, radishes with feta and walnuts.

Well, the food at Arya is decent, but nothing to write home about.

But it's the atmosphere that pleased the group last night. Ravenna, S-Rock, Soon-to-be Mr. S-Rock, and the Nomadic Post-Doc (NPD, for future reference) were present. A jazz trio, featuring a lovely female vocalist serenaded us with standards ("The Way You Look Tonight," "The Summerwind," "How High the Moon,"). And then at 9PM, the belly dancer emerged shaking her booty 'round the dining room.

Borani Badeamjoon (eggplant) far better looking in person than in this photo.

The restaurant is not opulent or preening with charm; and the service was just okay, but the staff, singer and dancer were friendly and approachable, and trying to please. They did not act like they would rather be working in the city at a posher venue, even though I am sure that any of them would. Instead, they are in Cupertino. As were we.

Arya is not a small restaurant, but the layout is such that I felt like I could see all the tables from where I was sitting. There was at least one family there, whose little girl in a ruffled dress, about five years old, twirled around on the dance floor for a good five minutes, lost in the music.

Crème brûlée

Ravenna, wine-nerd snob connoisseur that she is, graced the table with two wines to represent the geographic themes of the restaurant: Shiraz, and some violet colored Italian wine that is a mix of three grape varieties. I can't recall the name but the bottle itself weighed about five pounds.


Ratings (Scale: A-F)
Food: B
Service: B

Atmosphere: B

Bathrooms: C (not dirty, but untidy, needs work)
Parking: A

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