Recently, I had a girls’ night out and ended up at Basil Mediterranean for dinner. The restaurant is located across the street from Social in Costa Mesa, where the Japanese restaurant — whose name escapes me now — used to be.
We were so hungry and order some appetizers to start. I’m particularly picky about Mediterranean cuisine, simply because there is so much of it out there, and not particularly great at that. I have a few places I stick to whenever that craving hits.
Hummus ($5) here is rather spot on. I didn’t feel it needed more lemon juice or olive, as the texture is perfect!
I am a sucker for eggplant, and always order babaghanoush when I’m at a Mediterranean eatery. The House Specialty Eggplant ($6) is not quite babaghanoush, but its Persian counterpart — Kashk E Bademjan is an Iranian, Azerbaijani and Turkish dish that literally translates to “kashk and eggplant” – which is served warm. I love this item which I usually buy at Wholesome Choice, but this version is so much better.
Veggie Stuffed Grape Leaves ($5) or dolmeh (or domades, dolma depending on where you are from) are five pieces of stuffed grape leaves with rice, parsley and olive oil. I am extremely particular about stuffed grape leaves and unfortunately, the one here is on the gummy side, as I prefer mine with a little more texture rather than mush. However, flavor-wise, it is solid.
We all loved Tomato, Cucumber Salad ($4) or Salad Shirazi, is a simple item of diced cucumber, onion and tomato, tossed with parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Moving on to entrées, both my friends order Flat Cut Filet ($15) or Beef Barg, thinly sliced marinated filet mignon served with regular basmati rice, or for $3 more, a specialty rice such as Baghali Polo (rice with dill and lima bean, or Lubia Polo (rice with beans and little chunks of meat) can be had. My usual go-to is always baghali polo as I love dill, but surprisingly, I loved the lubia polo a lot more.
My main course of Bone In Cornish Hen ($12) is juicy and so flavorful! The marinated pieces of Cornish game hen are skewered and grilled, possessing beautiful hints of char. I loved it!
Portions are generous, and it is best to share your Mediterranean meal with friends or family. I highly recommend giving Basil Mediterranean a try if you’re hankering for Persian cuisine in Orange County.
Basil Mediterranean Grill
1907 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627