The couple in the International Market Grill is arguing. They are sweet like that. An elderly Iranian couple run this unassuming kebab grill. I’m sitting by myself in the corner watching UCSD students go to the Pho place next door. This small, out of the way joint has some sweet kebabs though. It is clean and well lit. They also sell groceries like Cortas Hummus (the best canned brand you can buy, it often is better than most store or restaurant made Hummus, Trader Joe’s Hummus tastes like mustard), and Arabic and Iranian breads and a whole section of Iranian/Middle Eastern desserts.
A couple of detectives, or FBI agents or vacuum cleaner salesmen sidle up to the bar (there’s like a lunch bar around the grill area), dressed like a 1970s police show, one of them has suspenders and smoked a pipe outside – “You got scrambled eggs, lox?” (laughter) “how bought bacon?” (more laughter) “is that rice from China?” (laughing) “I want Chinese rice” “Can I get some water, some onion water? I want it from the Straits of Hormuz, the Straits of Hormuz” (laughter) “They cook it up here like grandma” (laughing) – “The best “Italian” food I’ve ever seen” (laughing)
I’m about to stand up and throw my water glass at their heads, but the owner seems to know these guys and he jokingly takes it all in stride and everyone jibs and jabs like a bunch of men in a locker room. You can PC-ify all you want in your classroom, but PC just doesn’t jive with reality, even a block from UC San Diego.
|From International Market|
Anyway. I decided to resurrect San Diego Food Blog for this post (and perhaps future ones as well), because this place isn’t as packed as it should be. It’s small, it’s out of the way for most people, tucked into a random mini-mall a block from UC San Diego, it’s kind of a café-type feel, you pay after you eat, and it takes a long time to make your order – but that’s only because they cook to order – and, it’s not exactly cheap (kebabs are around $7).
They specialize in kebabs but also have a revolving daily special based on Iranian favorites.
I’ve had their house kebab, a beef kebab lightly spiced in a Persian bread wrap with fresh lettuce and tomato and onion and a side dish of thick yogurt that I like dipping the sandwich in or spreading on top of it. Chicken kebabs are also very good, as is their salad, and rice. I haven’t had anything other than that.
pictures of bitten food (sorry, couldn't wait)
The food is very fresh, which is why I like this place so much, they make and marinate their meats every day, and the veggies are always of high quality. Their kebabs are great, go and eat them.
Expect a wait, if you’re in a hurry call them and order ahead. Parking in this lot is tight during the noon rush, and there are lots of harried business people doing this or that as they worry about their money and boss. If you can come at 11 it’s better than noon.
The International Market and Grill is closed on Sundays.
3211 Holiday Ct
(between Villa La Jolla Dr & Villa Norte)
La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 535-9700