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Exclusive Interview With California’s Queen of Modern Persian Cuisine Sadaf Salout Nezhad 

Exclusive Interview With California’s Queen of Modern Persian Cuisine Sadaf Salout Nezhad 

Meet Sadaf Salout Nezhad, the inspiring owner of Sadaf Restaurants located in Encino and Thousand Oaks.  Her story is one of determination, passion, and family tradition. In the early 1980s, her parents, who were restaurant proprietorswere blessed with female twins, they named one Darya and the other Sadaf, which in the Farsi language translates to Sea and Shell.  In honor of their firstborn her father, chef Ali Salout named his first Persian restaurant Darya in City of Orange and later his second location in Santa Monica. 

Sadaf expressed to Lavish Life that from an early age her work ethic was inspired by her father. She mentioned that since the start of her father’s first restaurant in 1985 which was one of the 1st Persian Restaurants in Southern California she always had a vision to create a new concept of Persian cuisine, so at the age of 26 she decided to open a Persian restaurant with a modern twist in Encino naming the restaurant Sadaf. During her interview with Lavish Life magazine, Sadaf described her love for food, she recalled as a young girl her father encouraged her to try all the different types of food and never to judge food before giving it a taste.  Sadaf also credits her father with inspiring her to taste exotic foods such as braised beef tongue and discovering that she actually loves the delicacy served in many parts of the world. 

In 2011, Sadaf, after years of schooling and receiving her MBA, she decided that it was now her turn and thus opened  her first Sadaf Restaurant location in Encino California with a modern twist. She created a place where you can experience modern Persian cuisine at its finest. In 2019 another branch of Sadaf restaurant was launched in Thousand Oaks, California.  Sadaf Restaurants have become recognized for serving healthy, tasty, wholesome fresh food made with the freshest ingredients and only the best cuts of meat.  No preservatives or additives are ever used in her dishes. Astonishingly by the age of 38 years old, Sadaf Salout has already bought and sold a business, started and operated 2 successful restaurants, self-named Persian restaurants in Encino, California and Thousand Oaks, California. And, oh, by the way, she has two master’s degrees and just earned her doctorate in clinical psychology.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the restaurant industry?

I was raised in the restaurant business, with my twin sister by my side, running around my father’s restaurant growing up. At the age of 13, my father gave me a job at one of his restaurants, where I began prepping appetizers and enjoyed socializing with customers. By the age of 16, I was allowed to serve, and at 18, I began managing the floor staff at my father’s restaurant in Orange, and a couple of days a week at his restaurant in Los Angeles. As I got older, I could see how the restaurant business evolves. I realized not only did I love cooking, but I also loved the customer service aspect of it, and I loved people enjoying my food.

Can you tell us about the experience of opening your first restaurant?

After years of schooling and receiving my MBA, I decided it was time to follow my passion for food and hospitality. In 2011, I opened my first Sadaf Restaurant in Encino, California, with a modern twist, where customers can experience modern Persian cuisine at its finest. It was challenging, but I was determined to create a new concept of Persian cuisine that would appeal to a wider audience.

What sets Sadaf Restaurants apart from other restaurants?

Sadaf Restaurants have become recognized for their commitment to serving healthy, tasty, and wholesome fresh food made with the freshest ingredients and only the best cuts of meat. The use of preservatives or additives is never allowed. Our customers appreciate the quality of our food and our dedication to providing a memorable dining experience.

How do you balance running a restaurant business and pursuing a career in psychology?

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When I am not busy running my restaurants, I love spending time with my twin toddlers or helping my patients in therapy sessions. Pursuing my doctorate in clinical psychology has been a personal goal of mine, and I am passionate about helping others improve their mental health.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry?

My advice would be to work hard and stay focused on your goals. It’s essential to be passionate about what you do and never stop learning. Running a restaurant business can be challenging, but with dedication and perseverance, you can achieve anything.

By Lavish Life Publication Editorial Team

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