When one contemplates “cheesecake,” one associates “New York” with that vision. But the truth is cheesecake antedates New York and even Columbus. In reality, and you heard it here first, the ancient Greeks loved cheesecake; furthermore, they ate it in preparation for the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C. – some training food! In addition, Greek brides and grooms were also known to use cheesecake for their wedding cake.
These fascinating culinary facts came to light at the Second Annual Cheesecake Tasting at the Delphi Greek Restaurant located in Westwood. The Delphi is the only pure Greek restaurant in West Los Angeles and one of its shining lights is award-winning pastry chef Rana Farahanipour, who was certainly the star of the festivities. In fact, Rana always shines and, if you are a regular at the restaurant, you know that a meal there is not complete without one of her desserts.
For this event, Rana prepared an astounding twenty cheesecakes, all of which were beautifully displayed and delicious beyond description. They included a gold cheesecake, a saffron and pistachio cheesecake, a strawberry cheesecake, and a dripping caramel cheesecake, my personal favorite. For dessert lovers, this tasting was gastronomic ecstasy!
Rana taught herself how to cook and has made desserts her raison d’etre: you can both feel and taste her passion when eating one of her creations. My favourite dessert at Delphi is the traditional Greek confection, galaktobouriko, another specialty of Rana, patissier extraordinaire. However, cheesecake is still Rana’s favorite to whip up, as it were.
As Rana says, “When I make cheesecake or any other dessert, I feel like I am in ‘meditation’ mode. It makes me feel good just mixing the ingredients and I am truly elated when my dessert turns out well and the customer is satisfied.” She goes on to say, “So, cooking comes from my heart and that is the best feeling to have!”
Erica Bachellor was the enthusiastic MC for this event at the famous Delphi. Bachellor has covered the Oscars and is a host and announcer on the Golf Channel.
The restaurant has received numerous commendations from a wide range of individuals and organizations, including Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles, various elected officials, and diplomats. For the cheesecake tasting, Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz and Consul General of Greece Gregory Karahalios were in attendance to participate in the festivities and hand out accolades.
Delphi Greek Restaurant opened in 1985 and has been highly rated by the Zagat survey 17 times. Roozbeh Farahanipour has been the owner since 2009, and, yes, Rana is his wife. Roozbeh is the President of the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and is a very active participant in many other business and community organizations, including the Wine Country Club, the Wine Society, the American Wine Society, the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Restaurant Association, the Los Angeles County Business Federation Westwood Community Council, the Westwood Village Rotary Club, and the Friends of Westwood Library. Needless to say, he is as civic minded as he is dedicated to his restaurant.
Delphi Greek Restaurant specializes in traditional Greek food. And, is it ever yummy! My favourites are the cold combo appetizer with tabouli, sliced cucumbers, tzatziki, melitzanosalata, hummus, and pita bread. I also like the braised lamb shanks in a tasty tomato sauce with fine herbs and the kefte pita served with Greek meatballs and tomato, onion, and tzatsiki. With any selection, the finely tuned palate can enjoy a gourmand’s feast! To complement the epicurean cuisine, one can select a great wine from an impressive stock of Boutari Greek wines and rare vintage wines. So, for a truly authentic Hellenic dining experience in West Los Angeles, Delphi Greek Restaurant is really the only choice.
At any given time, you may well find yourself dining with celebrities, royalty, and dignitaries; mayors and police captains have been known to frequent Delphi, so you need be on your best behavior.
Delphi Greek Restaurant is open every day. The address is 1383 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 and the phone number is 310 478 0029. On the internet, find the restaurant at http://delphigreek.com and Rana Farahanipour at http://www.cookche.com.