No. 98, The Meats at Darya

Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers–an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never full review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin…

About once every three months, I have lunch with a bunch of powerful Mexicans and their trusted Persian adviser, an awesome guy named Ali. He's what you'd expect of a successful, middle-aged Persian: batshit loco–kidding! He's a great guy, sharp with his analysis of American and Middle Eastern politics, which me and one other Mexican pay attention to while the other Mexicans roll their eyes.

Sometimes we go to Mexican food, but we almost always end up at Darya in Orange, not so much because Ali is Persian but because we're all meat eaters–and if the Persian standard knows something, it's meat.


See also:

Our 100 Favorite Dishes from 2012
Our 100 Favorite Dishes from 2011

We order a huge tray of everything: the soltani, barg, the koobideh, the gargantuan chunks of chicken, all tender and worthy of leftovers. Since we never get to finish everything, and those rich Mexicans take pity on their poor wab of a pal, I usually leave Darya with bagfuls of goodies.

Funniest thing? Ali is always surprised I know about tahdig, and he always promises we'll order it next time. We never do–the meat is that good. Whatever–on to the next conversation about what a pendejo Dubya was!

The list:

99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora
100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco

Email: ga*******@oc******.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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