Read our interview with Ali Zaheh of Port Restaurant, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two. . . .
Hardest lesson you've learned:
The need to develop and have a great team in place for being successful in the business world.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Tehran, Iran, and I moved to Newport Beach in 1979 to go to UC Irvine for college.
Last song playing on your radio:
“Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones was playing on the radio, after their recent performance at [Honda Center].
Do you have a favorite genre of music?
I personally enjoy classic rock from the '70s, jazz and blues.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Playing sports like tennis and soccer.
What were you up to previously?
I started Port Restaurant's concept about six-and-a-half years ago, but I have been in the health-care technology field for more than 20 years.
Last movie watched? How was it?
I saw the movie Flight not too long ago, and I enjoyed the acting and storyline.
The last thing you looked up online:
We are in the process of adding new items, such as a variety of waffles to our weekend brunch menu, so I was searching for some interesting recipes.
Do you have any skills that are non-food-related?
I've been a university lecturer, teaching courses in electrical and computer science engineering, and have founded a few companies over the past 20 years in the areas of practice management software and dental EDI [Electronic Data Interchange], processing dental claims and eligibility transactions. I currently serve as the chairman of the board of EDI Health Group (dentalxchange.com).
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I am still busy somewhat in my other ventures as noted above. I also serve as an executive board member for the Newport Beach Restaurant Association and Corona del Mar Business Improvement District for the past five years.
I see myself being even more involved in local community and, possibly, politics–if I can find the time needed to do so!
Is there something you'd like readers to know that we haven't asked?
Port has been a great venue for small and large gatherings for a variety of corporate, charitable and special occasions. Our event packages are designed to accommodate many groups with different budgets.
Port has also become a venue for local talented musicians to showcase their talents on a nightly basis.
We also have some special interested groups meeting on a regular basis at Port. French, Italian and Persian groups meet on Monday, Thursday and Sundays, respectively, on a weekly basis.