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Sabzi, Persian Kabob House on Main Street and University Drive in Downtown Fairfax


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Sabzi moved into the old Bombay Garden space and has been open for a few months now. A group from my office stopped in a few weeks ago and we enjoyed everything we tried. It may take a while to get your food, because they are grilling each skewer as it is ordered. The chicken kabob seems to be the best bet - they have a few different spicings and were nicely charred, but still tender and flavorful. The sandwiches are a good value - they are a whole kabob skewer's worth of meat served over the pita and veg. I think the bread is made in-house, and at any rate it is served warm and worth eating. They have cucumber sauce and another herby green sauce to use for dipping. The meat in my Chenjeh (ribeye) sandwich was served medium-rare. If that was intentional, then kudos, though they didn't ask, so I suspect it was a result of rushing in the kitchen to get many orders out at once. Either way, I liked it! Our server was very kind and seemed genuinely delighted that we were there.
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In an attempt to break out of our we-eat-Asian-food-all-the-damn-time rut, we tried Sabzi for dinner the other night. Their Kash-Ke Bademjan, which is roasted eggplant pureed with onion, garlic, mint & yogurt topped with caramelized onions, is simple and absurdly easy to eat. Go easy, otherwise your bread will be gone and you will be full before you entrees arrive. The platters can come with a half-salad/half-rice option for no extra charge, which makes for a pretty, balanced plate. I liked my lamb kabobs, which were medium-medium-well (again, without asking. I think if you ask, the chef can get the meat to the doneness you request), a little chewy, and very tasty. The chicken kabobs were moist and well seasoned. My husband liked the blakava and I tried the rollet, which is basically a couple of slices of vanilla cream cake roll that is slightly sweeter than the cake rolls that you can get at Asian bakeries. It's a nice, light dessert dressed with small dabs of honey and a sprinkling of crushed pistachios. Also a good idea for an easy make-at-home dessert! The staff are extremely friendly and full of smiles, and the space feels much fresher and brighter than the old Bombay Garden days. We really enjoyed ourselves! There would be nothing wrong with going simple for Valentine's Day. In fact, I'd prefer it.

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