Tavazo Dried Nuts and Fruits opened quietly in Irvine last week, or perhaps the week before. Like I said, it was a quiet debut. This outlet of a mostly Ontario, Canada-based Persian goods purveyor can be found next to Smart & Final and Trader Joe's at Culver and Walnut.
I walked in to survey their selection and inside it looks exactly like the picture I saw of their Ontario stores. The picture below of one of their other stores is a good representative of what to expect: ornate silver-plated giant goblets that I'm sure has a proper name (Dave?) were stocked with what I have to guess is just about every kind of dried fruit conceivable. There was for sure mango, dates, lemons, and more nuts than a political protest rally.
So far, I saw no offering of baklava or the other pastries that I heard they were planning on stocking from Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Is Tavazo going to displace or even challenge the variety and depth of Wholesome Choice? Obviously not. This is a specialty store with a footprint of a 7-Eleven (it used to be a tiny running shoe store before this); but it's still something all those Trader Joe's-bound should check out.
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Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.