300 El Camino Real
Belmont, CA 94002
Shalizaar is a Persian Cuisine restaurant in Belmont. It moved here from a smaller location in San Mateo, which is now home to another decent restaurant: Tannourine. They specialize in Persian Kabobs and become immensely popular, leading to an expansion of the restaurant. Shalizaar has a large wood fired oven at one end of the dining room constantly making flat bread. Our last visit was in June 2016.
You get warm flat bread, mint leaves, walnuts and feta cheese after you sit down, a nice touch. The flat bread is really really good!
Decor, Vibe – Very fancy location with lots of expensive decor including a domed ceiling with a beautiful chandelier. They must make a lot of money. Big communal table in the front.
Families, couples, and bigger groups of all sorts of races were dining at Shalizaar.
Shalizaar has a concise two-page menu with a variety of appetizers, meat dishes, and stew dishes. Prices are not cheap, but consistent with higher-end restaurants. Prices have risen about 10% over the last couple years.
Shalizaar Food Picks:
Tah Dig ($9.95) Crispy Rice (not as crispy as say Korean stone pot Rice) with your choice of stew toppings was a good way to sample their student items. We chose Ghormeh Sabzi -Stewed beef, kidney beans, sautéed herbs, and spinach, and Fesenjan -Roasted chicken thighs, ground walnuts, and pomegranate juice. We preferred the beef stew to the chicken. On another visit we got the Gheymeh bademjan – lean beef, chana dal beans, tomatoes sauce and egg plant.
Shalizaar, Special for Two ($48.95) A combination of three kabobs, joojeh (Cornish game hen), barreh (lamb filet), and koobideh (seasoned ground beef) served with saffron rice and tomatoes, made for two but it can easily feed 3 adults. We have also had this with the shrimp, which were small but above average.
The lamb filet was cooked to medium, it was still on the bone and very delicious. The game hen was tender and very juicy, cooked very well. The beef was formed from ground beef, so it was pretty soft and mushy, but flavorful, tasty, and a little greasy. Tomatoes were slightly burned, otherwise tasted fine. This dish is so meaty, it could have used a lot more in the way of vegetables. You are supposed to mash the meat into the saffron rice.
Shalizaar Shishlik ($52.95) is a Combination platter of game hen, lamb chops, and two ground beef. Similar to the previous dish, but substituting in the lamb chops. Highly recommended by the waiter.
Soltani ($26.95) is a combination of barg (filet mignon) and koobideh (ground beef) Good stuff.
Barg ($22.95) (filet mignon) consisted of patties of beef, thin and juicy. Also good stuff but not as great a value as the combo plate.
Shirin Polo ($15.95) – Sweet pistachio, almond, and orange peal rice with chicken thighs. A sweet rice dish that really wasn’t too sweet. A very tender long cooked piece of chicken accompanied this interesting dish.
Faloodeh ($4.50) Noodles mixed with crushed ice, rose water and sugar. An interesting dessert with bits of noodle on top of shaved ice.
Bastani ($4.50) Persian ice cream mixed with pistachios and saffron. A more traditional dessert with some smooth homemade ice cream.
Ferini ($4.50) – was a cardamom flavored rich pudding that hit the spot.
Kashk-e-Bademjan ($6.95) Cooked pureed eggplant, topped with Kashk. (Kashk is a creamy sauce made of yogurt) and sauteed mint. A big place of it, good for dipping the bread into.
Dough ($2) is a yogurt mixed with club soda, mint, salt, and pepper drink. A fine rendition of an acquired taste. Foodies should try it at least once.
Shalizaar’s service was fair and got worse as the place filled up. We had to literally get up and nail down the server to get the bill and clear the table. They need to add more servers and helpers. This trend continued in 2014, avoid this restaurant at peak times, come early or late.
If we were looking for Persian food, we would definitely have Shalizaar on our short list. The place gets packed during peak times, so make a reservation.