BY ANGELINA MARTIN
When her family came to the United States from Iran nearly two decades ago, Bradinne Aghakhani said that the group had a desire to bring the flavors of their homeland to Turlock after finding that nothing in the area quite lived up to their expectations of what Middle Eastern food should be.
Fast forward to 2017, and that dream has finally been realized with the opening of the family’s restaurant, Nami-No, on Monday.
“We used to go to a lot of places in Iran where we had kebabs that were delicious, but we tried a lot of places here that didn’t taste like the food you would have in the Middle East,” said Aghakhani, who manages the restaurant run by her father, Ashor Benyamin, and uncle, Edward Khoushabeh. “We wanted to bring a little taste of Iran here.”
The restaurant’s opening night went so well, they were forced to stop accepting customers because they ran out of seats, Aghakhani said, with diners lining up to try Nami-No’s traditional menu of kebabs, which consist of grilled meat cooked on a skewer, vegetables and rice that are commonplace overseas.
“Our kebabs are really juicy and flavorful. The stews that we have are full of herbs and our rice just smells delicious, like butter,” said Aghakhani. “Everything is fresh and I know this is going to sound cliché, but it’s all made with love. Everyone here enjoys what they do.”
Recipes passed down by family members and friends have made their way onto the Nami-No menu, providing a flair of authenticity that Aghakhani hopes continues to attract customers.
“I’m hoping we continue to grow, and from the looks of it, we will,” she said. “People are telling each other about us and really enjoying the food.”
Like many businesses, Nami-No is a family affair – something Aghakhani believes contributes to the restaurant’s atmosphere.
“I think the service we bring to people sets us apart,” she said. “Family is love. We all get along and love each other, and I think it comes from that.”
Type of business:
Middle Eastern restaurant
2545 Geer Rd., Turlock
10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Monday through Sunday