Moby Dick House of Kabob Founder Mike Daryoush Celebrates 30 Years in Business

If you’ve lived in the DC metro area for any length of time, you’re familiar with Moby Dick House of Kabob. Our popular local chain that serves traditional Persian food, and is frequented by everyone from college students to families.

But you might not know that the story of our restaurant is the classic American dream of hard work and perseverance to build a better life. Our founder Mike Daryoush moved to the U.S. from Iran in the 1970s; his first restaurant concept – a diner serving traditional American lunch and breakfast – didn’t quite work out.

Instead of giving up, he built a traditional clay oven in the restaurant and added fresh pita bread to his menu. The bread was a hit with his customers, and Daryoush realized that he could offer an authentic take on traditional Persian food. He reopened the restaurant as Moby Dick House of Kabob, offering approachable Persian cuisine with a Mediterranean focus.

Daryoush believes that the secret to success isn’t a secret: take pride in your work and never cut corners.

From the beginning, Daryoush was committed to two things: loyalty to his staff and his customers, and using the best ingredients and cooking techniques. Daryoush’s first employee from the luncheonette still works for him today, almost 30 years later. They built the business working side by side, winning one customer at a time.

That one restaurant in Bethesda, which is still there, has turned into 23 locations across DC, Maryland and Virginia. Every location has its own tandoor oven and makes bread fresh to order from open to close. Every item on the menu is still prepared with high-quality ingredients using traditional Persian techniques.

Part of the American dream is building a better life for your family. Daryoush has done that; married and the father of three sons, he’s brought his eldest, Ned, into the business to learn the ropes and pass on his legacy.

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