The husband-and-wife team of Mike and Fera Hashemi opened Arya Global Cuisine in Cupertino in 2007, and it became known for its kabobs with sides of basmati rice and belly-dancing performances. The menu focused on Persian cuisine but also included some Italian specialties from executive chef Mike Hashemi, who spent years living in Italy.
In 2012, the couple opened a second location of Arya in downtown Redwood City, and this restaurant eventually became Arya Steakhouse. Instead of Italian cuisine, seafood towers with crab legs resting on beds of ice and a list of halal, dry-aged steaks accompanied a menu of Persian kabobs and stews, including the herbaceous green ghormeh sabzi and fesenjoon flavored with pomegranate and ground walnuts. In the “sides” section, a selection of polo, basmati rice flavored with ingredients like dill and lima beans, is listed next to steakhouse standbys mashed potatoes and truffle fries. Eventually, the Hashemis sold their Cupertino restaurant and focused on this multicultural concept that’s now relocating to Palo Alto.
Arya Steakhouse’s new home at 140 University Ave. has housed notable projects, including Tam Tam Restaurant from the Tamarine team, steakhouse Palo Alto Grill and sake bomb-serving Miyake. Fera Hashemi hopes that under her family’s leadership, the space will become an upscale dining destination for all. She says that the diverse menu suits a variety of diners, and Arya serves an entirely halal menu. “We want to be a high-end restaurant for everyone,” she says.
Arya Steakhouse held its soft opening Aug. 9 and will eventually be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Arya Steakhouse, 140 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650-304-3119. Instagram: @aryasteakhouse.