The Couple Behind Persia Lounge & Restaurant – Homayoun and Mandana Daryani
The Persia Lounge & Restaurant is nestled cozily on bustling Main Street, adding flavor and fun to this cultural hub of Newhall. What sets this restaurant apart from its competitors is the dynamic duo that runs it. Husband and wife, Homayoun and Mandana Daryani, purchased the restaurant in 2006, and by combining their skills and passions the restaurant has grown and thrived.
Homayoun did not plan on owning a restaurant; in fact, his degree is in technical design and draft engineering. The couple originally ran a market next door to the restaurant, which was at the time owned by a friend. They were frequent customers, and when the previous owners decided to sell they took a leap and bought it.
“One of the keys to our success was that we were customers first so we were able to change what we didn’t like as customers when we bought it,” says owner Homayoun Daryani,
And change they did. By adding recipes, updating their advertising, redecorating, contacting local magazines for features and making various other modifications, sales increased almost 80% in the first three months.
Mandana is the executive chef as well as co-owner, and her culinary degree in baking is utilized in crafting desserts, such as chocolate mousse cake and flakey baklava.
“My wife is a baker, but every Persian wife is a home chef, so we implemented many of her recipes in the kitchen,” says Homayoun.
Mandana’s touch in the restaurant can also be seen in the draped fabric, intricately etched walls, and Persian lamps—as she is the main decorator of the restaurant.
“Mandana’s specialty is in the pastries and wedding cake decorating, and when we cater she does all of the decorations as well, from fruit table to appetizer table. We know each other’s talents and I trust her opinion in the restaurant,” says Homayoun.
Homayoun and Mandana, have been a team since they first met in Iran. The two were married there 1994 and have two children: Shahrzad and Ali Daryani.
They moved to the United States, after a few visits to the country, and decided that they wanted to move to the U.S. permanently in 2001. Once they had settled in, they opened the market that would eventually lead them to owning and operating the restaurant and lounge they do today. The couple’s teamwork translated to the partnership they share in smoothly running the restaurant.
“We love what we do, we know our passions, and everything always comes out very nice,” says Homayoun. “I try to not put my foot where she is working because I trust her, I know what she is capable of and I know that she will do a great job, I don’t ever tell her what to do…she does to me though and it works!”
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