Moby Dick House of Kabob Grieves the Loss of Its Founder and President, Mike Daryoush

Mike Daryoush, Founder and President of one of Washington D.C.’s most beloved restaurants, Moby Dick House of Kabob, has died. He was 66. “With a heavy heart and great sadness, we regretfully announce the passing of the Founder and President of Moby Dick House of Kabob, Mike Daryoush, late on Thursday, May 9, 2019,” said Ned Daryoush, Vice President and Alex Momeni, Director & Chief Development Office for Moby Dick House of Kabob. Mr. Momeni added, “he left a big void not only with his family and friends, but also in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Daryoush’s family during this difficult time.”

For more than three decades, Mike Daryoush ran his chain of restaurants, always adhering to his core beliefs: take pride in your work and never cut corners. It is that same dedication and commitment that Mr. Daryoush applied to all facets of his business, fiercely dedicated to both his employees and his customers. His kind heart and unparalleled work ethic inspired the loyalty of his employees. The very first person Mike hired still works in his restaurant nearly 30 years later, witnessing the inspiring growth of the restaurant every day.

At first, the luncheonette featured traditional American cuisine, but it wasn’t until Mr. Daryoush built a traditional clay oven in the restaurant that he was able to garner huge success. From there, baked pita was added to the menu, starting Mr.Daryoush on the road to success.

When he realized that he could offer an authentic take on the traditional Persian food he loved so much, he reopened the luncheonette as Moby Dick House of Kabob. Customers everywhere were satisfied, and Mr. Daryoush never looked back. That first restaurant in Bethesda remains there to this very day and since then, Moby Dick has branched out into 23 locations across the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas.

For Mike, family was the most important precious thing in life. He is survived by his wife, Susan and four sons, Ned, Josh, Aarod, and Aaram. Mr. Daryoush leaves a great void behind him, not only with his family, but with the entire community.

Below, you can leave your signature and thoughts about Mr. Daryoush, the man who made the dream of Moby Dick House of Kabob a reality.

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In Memory of Mike Daryoush

  1. Walter Wisniewski

    Sincere condolences to the Daryoush family and friends of Mike. I’m merely a long-time customer of the Bethesda store, but it was moving to read about details of Mike Daryoush’s life in your tribute, as well as in Tim Carman’s appreciation in The Washington Post today.

    Reply
    1. Debby

      I met Mike when he first opened Bethesda, and found him to be a delightful person. So sorry he is gone so soon, my condolences to all of his family. What a great legacy he has left you.

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    2. Irene Pruitt

      My sincerest condolences to the Daryoush family, friends and community. I am a long time customer of the Dupont Circle location with a great love of Persian food. Khoda Hafez Mike and may Allah bless your family and friends during this difficult time.

      Reply
    3. Gary lanza

      My sincere condolences and sorrow for the loss of one of the best restaurant owners in the tri state area. My mom and I have been coming to the one in Olney for years and my wife have been going to the one in silver spring MD for anymore of years. Great food. He will be missed.

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    4. Asif Shakeel

      Very sad news – my condolences to the family. Anyone who knows me, knows Moby Dick is my favorite all-time restaurant. I’ve been a loyal customer since I was in college back in 1993. Not only do I love the food, but as a small-business owner myself, I’ve always admired the professionalism and processes of his business operation. Although I’ve never met him, he will be missed.

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    5. Cathy Sheen Johnson

      Sincere condolences to the entire family. There is a Moby Dick Kabob near our office and we really enjoy the days we have Moby Dick cater lunch for us! I hope his family has lots of happy memories to help sustain them.

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    6. Kumar

      Deepest condolences from my family to yours. We are long time customers of Moby Dick in the Olney area. Thank you for bringing wonderful Persian cuisine and joy to the DC area.

      Reply
  2. M

    I’m deeply sorry to hear about this loss and my thoughts are with his friends and family. Very grateful to have this chain in the DC area and the ability to get Persian food when I am far away from home. Means a lot.

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  3. Jonathan Matias

    My family’s sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Daryoush. Moby Dick has been our family’s go-to place for a decade and a half. My wife Christy and our young sons have much joy when we head to Moby Dick and are never disappointed. We wish the Daryoush family comfort in this time of loss.

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  4. Mohammed Khaishgi

    Deepest condolences to the Moby Dick family. What an inspiring life story. Our children have been brought up on a diet of Moby Dick kebabs – and for that, they will eternally be grateful to Mike.

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  5. Hassan

    Hi
    He set a higher standard for Persian food and kept its quality high.
    I hope who ever continue the business keep even the quality higher!
    Thanks

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  6. Susan Schwartz

    I wish I’d known this wonderful man. Such an interesting story, and a beautiful legacy. Thinking of his loved ones and wishing peace to all.

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  7. Francisco Cosio-Marron

    As a family that has enjoyed the delicious benefits of Mike Daryoush’s inspiration and enterprise, we join the whole Moby Dick family in celebrating his life and grieving his passing. God bless Mike and all his clan.

    Reply
  8. Sarah

    Condolences to the Daryoush family and friends. What a positive impact Mr. Daryoush had in my life, and my children’s lives, with his passion to bring good food to the DC area. I have been ordering/ eating food at the McLean, VA and Falls Church, VA locations for as long as I can remember. I hope that Mr. Daryoush’s passion and commitment continues through the company.

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  9. Jill Notini

    I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. My kids have affectionately called your restaurant “Whale Tail” since they were toddlers. We order every week and you’ve provided nutritious meals for our family for years. Thank you for your vision and high quality ingredients. You’ve built something wonderful!

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  10. Gary Putnam

    Sometimes, the best bond building between cultures takes place at a meal. I never met you Mike, but thanks for building a bridge for different people to walk across and meet the “other side”. While your loved ones will miss you, those of us who never met you have benefitted by your life you built here. We are all immigrants.

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  11. Patty Gould

    My family has always appreciated the Moby Dick commitment to quality and flavor, thanks to the leadership of Mr. Daryoush. The Ashburn location has long been a generous part of the community. We extend our condolences to Mr. Daryoush’s family and friends.

    Reply
  12. David Heltemes

    Continue the food Mr Daryoush brought to our area and saddened with the news of his passing. May he Rest In Peace.

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  13. Rose

    My condolences to the family. I am a frequent customer in Germantown and Bethesda. You have left a true legacy of healthy fish options. You will surely be missed. From Rose

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  14. Danielle Werchowsky

    My condolences to the family and friends of Mike Daryoush. While we never have met Mike, we have been regular diners at the Arlington Moby Dicks for over 16 years. My son is a picky eater, and Moby Dicks is his favorite bar none. We are so grateful that he has shared his wonderful Iranian food in our community.

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  15. Mindy Saia

    Thank you for sharing this information. My family have been long time customer’s and we love Moby Dick. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Daryoush family and their work family(s) as well. RIP

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  16. J.D. Smith

    Didn’t know Mr. Daryoush personally. But, I am a long time regular at the Ashburn stores. Best wishes to all the Daryoush family as well as the Moby Dick employees.

    Reply
  17. Mohammed

    Our condolences to Daryoush family at this sad time. He made a lot of impact for many people. I’m one of the regular at Sterling and Ashburn location. My family enjoyed the restaurant. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  18. Susan Wald

    We are so sorry for the loss of Mike Daryoush. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him and all his customers who appreciated all his efforts. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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  19. Ayman

    Our deepest condolences for your lost. I am a longtime customer at the original DC store since early 90s and recently at Falls church, VA

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  20. Helen Acton

    My condolences to the Daryoush family. Always get the best kabobs from your Kingstowne location.

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  21. Milton and Susan Koch

    So sorry for the loss of this wonderful man. May his memory be a blessing for all. We have been Bethesda store supporters for years!!!!!

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  22. Chintan Purohit

    You’ve given the DC area one of the best middle eastern taste Mike. Rest In Peace buddy. My sincere condolences to family and friends. Your legacy will always be remembered. Prayers. Lots of prayers.

    Reply
  23. Paul

    At the time I was missing the Persian food I had access to in London. Moby Dick was the one place I would travel way out of my way to get some. It was even better when a Silver Spring branch opened up (it’s a shame it didn’t work out). Thank you for the memories and thank you for the food. You have created a strong legacy in the DC area.

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  24. Mastee Badii

    Thank you for over two decades of delicious food. Moby Dick’s meals have been a part of our family and we all send his family our condolences. Rest In Peace.

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  25. Philip

    My condolences on the loss of this great man. When i worked downtown the only place i would go out to eat was the Moby Dicks near Dupont Circle. Where i work now has no Moby. Where i live has no Moby. I always get excited when a trip takes me near a place where i can hrab the best kabobs in DC.

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  26. Linée De Mouy

    May memories of Mike Daryoush always bring a smile to your heart.
    I am grateful to him for bringing Persian food to life for me and making the best Ghormeh Sabzi I’ve ever tasted.

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  27. Kourush Afsharjavan

    I knew him for almost 40 years, since attending school at GW. I have great memories with Mike. He will truly be missed.

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  28. Steve Behram

    Very saddened by the passing of Mr. Daryoush. This was a sad day not just for the Persian-American community, but for everybody that was touched by the vision and efforts of this extraordinary entrepreneur. We wish his family strength during this very difficult time.

    Reply
  29. Susan Milligan

    Please accept our deepest sympathy. My family has enjoyed the delicious food at Moby Dick in Bethesda since 1990. We have always felt that the food at Moby Dick is a gift of love. After reading your tribute and Tim Carman’s, it’s clear that really is the case and that Mr. Daryoush was the reason why.

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  30. Mark

    I am sad to hear of the passing of Mike Daryoush at such a young age. The first Moby Dick I visited was within walking distance from my house in Fairfax. While I now live in North Carolina, I am in Northern Virginia every month, and continue to visit Moby Dick. I tell friends in VA and NC that Moby Dick has the best kebabs I’ve ever had, and encourage them to visit. I introduced my teenaged daughter to Moby Dick and she loves it too. I did not know Mike, but was very happy for his success as a local businessman. From the article about him, I can see that his success was not only in business, but also a good person. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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  31. TAHA ELGEBALY

    My family has been catering parties and dining in at the Georgetown and McLean locations since I was a little boy. This was the original House of Kabob and the standard is still the same at all the locations with all the success and growth that this wonderful man has been able to achieve over the years.

    I’m now married and dine at the DuPont location with my wife at least once a week. We really look forward to the amazing food and the dining experience. Rest in peace Mr. Daryoush 🙁 I’m looking forward to the day that I can bring my children to eat at Moby Dick House of Kabob and pray that you go straight to heaven and that your family celebrates your life more than they morn your passing. Your memory will live forever 🙂 The Power of Kobideh

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  32. Alphonse-Louis Vinh

    My condolences to Mike Daryoush’s family, friends, and loyal employees. I just love Persian cookery and it was great that he opened his first eatery here in Bethesda where I live.

    Reply
  33. Frank and Sue

    Our joy came many years ago at the first Moby Dick Kabob store – authentic Persian cuisine in an unassuming way. While we are based in NJ – we often ask to move your stores to the NJ Princeton Area. For many many years each summer we would pass through the Washington DC/VA area. Our trips always included a stop at one of the Moby Dick locations. This year one of our children is attending college in Baltimore; she has the local Moby Dick restaurant on speed dial for Ghorem Sabzi Fridays! She’s turned her dorm on to delicious Persian food. When we drop her off I’m sure to get a family size take out to bring back home. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. May Mike always know what a gift he has provided to our family for many many years in cherishing our beloved Persian cuisine during our travels.

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  34. Elisabeth

    I send my family’s condolences to Mike Daryoush’s family and friends. Moby Dick ‘s Bethesda location has long been a favorite of generations of my family — my husband and kids, my Mom and inlaws, and even my late grandmother were all happy when we chose to bring take out from Moby Dick. I was so moved to read about Mike Daryoush’s life, and his restaurants have truly reached across backgrounds and ethnicities. The food has certainly brought my Jewish American family together around the table — at least when we weren’t squabbling about who gets what leftovers! In the words of our Jewish tradition, may his memory be a blessing.

    Reply
  35. Rose

    So sorry for your loss, and my thoughts are with your family during this time. Mike’s contributions to the DC metro area in the form of Moby Dick are a lasting testament to the man that he was.

    Reply
  36. bijan

    A young immigrant with an entrepreneurship mind coming to US at early 20s with not much money in his pocket. He earned an engineering degree from GWU and washed the dishes and became a waiter to support his life. Then he entered the restaurant business with an innovative mind starting with a small sandwich shop turning it into a fantastic and successful 24-store franchise. Admiration for him, he worked so hard in his life and succeeded but regrettably did not live longer to enjoy it even more. He always will be remembered.

    Mike’s life story is the story of our country that how we, a British Colony, became the United States of America.

    Reply
  37. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

    To God we belong and to him we return. My condolences to Mike Faryoush’s family and friends. I never met him, but I am one of the many who benefited from his entrepreneurship that provided such excellent food and a nice informal place to dine with my friends and family. May Go forgive him and grant him paradise.

    Reply
  38. Ernie Vann

    Great Middle Eastern Food that I have been eating at your restaurants since the early 2000’s! My family and I are Lebanese and love the tasty food at Moby’s! May Mike’s spirit live on in Moby’s…

    Reply
  39. Asmau

    I’ve been going to Moby’s since it first opened in McLean and it’s been my go to spot every since. This loss is truly sad, but glad to know Mike has left a lasting legacy in the DMV area. Rest In Peace

    Reply
  40. Neil Walls

    All our family loves Moby Dick. The food has never been less than excellent and the staff friendly and efficient, regardless of which location we went to; this is a strong testament to the work ethic and belief system Mike adhered to. RIP

    Reply
  41. John Hardison

    RIP Mike. My future-wife and I used to visit the Bethesda location about 25 years ago and fell in love with the taste of the chicken, the hummus, and the fresh bread. Through dates, dinners, and now, with our daughter, family meals, Moby Dick has not only been a relied upon good-eat, but something that has brought us joy and happiness. We always enjoy going to a new Moby Dick and rating the hummus compared to the other locations (they are all subtly different). Thank you so much for creating Moby Dick and being part of our lives. Rest easy in knowing what a positive impact you have made on the lives of so many people. Thanks.

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  42. John Bell

    Please accept my sympathy on the loss of this great person. A great legacy remains, thanks to Mr. Daryoush’s vision and ethics. And his family and friends, and customers, will keep his memory alive for generations to come.

    Reply
  43. Wendi

    My condolences to your family on your loss. I am a big fan of the restaurant. Mike built up a delicious and healthy restaurant and I am grateful he went with his passion and became a restauranteur.

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  44. Kivan Taghavi

    Thank you for bringing your love of Persian food to us. We are forever grateful. Rest peacefully. Khodahafez, Mike-Joon.

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  45. Richard

    We love the food you created for us. Providing a product loved by so many is a service to humanity. Thank you. To those who loved you, we are thinking of you and so sorry for your loss. Age 66 is much too young. Very tragic.

    Reply
  46. Leslie Lurey

    I wish I knew about Moby before I was introduced to this establishment. The wonderful meals I would have had. Mike Daryoush created a heavenly delicious offering. I will miss his talent.

    Reply
  47. Robert D'Onofrio

    My wife and I have been loyal patrons of the Moby Dick restaurant for year. Moving over the years between Maryland, DC and Virginia it has always been our number one choice of places to eat our due to the consistency, quality and great flavors we count on time and time again. We tried other Iranian and Persian restaurant throughout the area and have always come back to our favorite Moby Dick. That you Mr. Daryoush for what you have created in our community over some many years. We will continue to be patrons for many years to come.

    Reply
  48. AKG

    My sincere condolences to the entire Daryoush family. May he rest in peace. I was introduced to Persian food at the Bethesda location about 30 years ago and was instantly addicted. A Persian friend and coworker introduced me, and i am forever grateful to her and Mr. Daryoush for everything. Prayers

    Reply
  49. Louay Youssef

    Thank you Mr. Daryoush for creating such an amazing restaurant. Growing up I was a very picky eater and would have Moby Dick around 3 times a week. I am now 6’5, but one of my earliest memories was getting on my top toes to try and look over the counter of the Bethesda location. I got to know the amazing employees of Moby Dick so well that we still have personal conversations everytime I see them even though I now live outside DC. Although I did not know Mr. Daryoush personally, I am so thankful for his creation and know his legacy will continue as long as his lovely food continues to feed hungry people.

    Reply
  50. nafiseh sharifian

    Deeply sorry for his loss, his place is empty in all Mobydicks, but i am sure his personals especially Mr. Meisam in Washington DC areal would serve as a devoted manager in mobydick.

    Reply
  51. Deb

    We have been a regular customer of Moby Dick and enjoy the food Mr. Daryoush created. Sorry to hear that Mr. Daryoush is no more. My sincere condolences to the Daryoush family. May his soul rest in peace.

    Reply
  52. Mobys fan in Bethesda

    My condolences to the Daryoush family, and my gratitude to Mr. Daryoush for providing me and my family with delicious food for all these years. RIP.

    Reply
  53. Sam

    I’m saddened by the news of his passing and offer my prayers to his family and friends. I still remember his kindness when I was a kid and came in with my mom. He’s always been a great person and I enjoyed not just the food, but also his success with expanding Moby’s from one location to what it is today. He will be missed.

    Reply
  54. Steve in McLean

    As a customer for more than 25 years, Mr. Daryoush’s high values showed through in his product and business My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. May his family and employees carry forward these high ideals.

    Reply
  55. M Orilla

    Condolence to Mr. Daryoush family, friends and all the staff at Moby Dick. We love the food since my husband discovered it thru his former colleague many years ago. It’s been our family’s take out comfort food.

    Reply
  56. Shirley

    I am so sorry for your loss. My family and I are faithful customers of the McLean restaurant, and while we didn’t know Mike Daryoush personally, he has brought fun times and good food into our lives for uears.

    Reply
  57. Carrie Krystek

    I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family during this time, and blessings of thanks for the work he has done. His restaurants have brought much happiness to our family, and our thanks go out to him.

    Reply
  58. Frank Colantoni

    My condolences and best wishes go out to the family of Mike Daryoush and to the Moby Dick family of owners and employees, many of whom I have gotten to know
    over the years. Mr. Mike has left us too early, but his legacy will live on.

    Reply
  59. Marc Deluca

    I started going to Moby’s since it first opened in McLean. I am in the commercial real estate field. One day I spoke with Mike and showed him a building that I owned at 1300 Connecticut Ave., and I was able to get him to take over a failed restaurant, he was one of if not the finest and most honest person I have ever dealt with. RIP my friend and keep smiling down on us.

    Reply
  60. Haroon Alimi

    My condolences to Daryoush’s family and friends. My family and I have been regular customers at Kentlands location since it opened. Although, I have never met Mr. Daryoush, I feel like I have lost a member of my family. May God bless his heart.

    Reply
  61. Ahmad Nowrouzi

    Condolences to the family and friends. Wishing all his family the patient and May God bless him. He left a very good legacy.

    Reply
  62. Katie & Darren Andariese

    So sorry to hear of his passing. My wife and I have always said that Mobys has been our favorite restaurant. We went to Mobys twice a week when we lived in Northern Virginia. We now live in Mineral Va an I travel up to Northern Va 1-3 times a week. At least 2 times a month, I stop by Mobys on the way home so we can continue to enjoy your great restaurant. Once again, we are so sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  63. Soheil Chavoshi

    Regrettably I never met Mike. You can tell from the many thoughts and memories shared that he touched many lives. Very inspirational. Merci!!!!

    To the Daryoush family and friends, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. May he Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  64. Christian Westermann

    A house so big that everyone sat at his table. Thank you for bringing us into your home.

    Reply
  65. W. Addams

    Sincere condolences to his loved ones. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I am a long time patron of his restaurant and appreciate his braveness in introducing Persian cuisine to the area when it was not yet popular in the mainstream at that time. The food served at his restaurants is fantastic. He was a pioneer.

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  66. Teresa Valdez

    My sincere condolences to family and friends of Mike Daryoush. Since moving to Virginia I discovered MobyDick restaurant and its one of my most favorite places to eat.

    Reply
  67. Saeed Mir

    My condolences to his family and friends. I met him 30 years ago at Bethesda’s Moby Dick. He didn’t know me, but treated me with respect and talked to me as if I was a good and long time friend. That was the only time I talked to him. After 28 year (two years ago) I saw him again at a Persian Picnic.
    I never forget how friendly he was and how he treated me with respect. May he Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  68. John R

    In 1987 I was working evenings in the office tower next to Moby’s and would often drop in for takeout. What a memorable and nice man. He always made you feel welcome, and even special ordered some chips I particularly liked (with my Moby’s Melt, possibly the only menu item left from the beginning). His move to the Persian menu introduced a new and wonderful food to a lot of us in DC. He will be missed.

    Reply
  69. Robert Haddad

    Deep condolences from our family. Long time customers at your Bethesda location. Your food inspired us to learn more about, and appreciate, Persian food.

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  70. Freidoun Farbod

    I loved the idea of a “fast food” Iranian restaurant. Although I live far away in PA, I have always tried to visit one of the locations when I am in DC-VA area for the past 20 plus years. The Bethesda location is my favorite and I am in awe of the quality & variety of Persian food served in such a short time. I did not know Mike but I’m so sad to hear of his passing. Deepest condolences to his family and best wishes for continued success.

    Reply

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