Fine Fare at Chopan Kabob, Concord

by foodhoe on April 18, 2011

2699 Monument Blvd # A, Concord, CA 94520-3121 | 925.689.5488

This gem was recommended by my discriminating co-worker Namita, who shares my interest in finding the good stuff.  Several of us went on a reconnaisance trip to verify and were at first apprehensive about the location, way out on Monument Blvd, past civilization, buried deep in endless rows of tire and auto repair shops.  We finally arrived at an isolated strip mall, anchored by an El Molino Market, a laundromat and our destination, Chopan Kab0b on the end.

Inside is delightful, shiny glass covered white tablecloths, dark wood chairs and lovely murals adorn the walls.  Each table has an interesting assortment of condiments.  The bottle on the far left has dried pomegranate powder, then salt, pepper and a shake bottle of spicy cayenne.  The jars have a spicy red chile chutney and a milder green chutney made with cilantro, mint and jalapano.  It was pungent and tart, a bit like salsa verde.

They brought out a basket of flatbread, which they cook in a fiery cavernous stone oven.  The bread was warm and unusually tender when compared to other versions I have tried.  It reminded me of pizza dough, and was completely addictive drizzled with the sauces.

We were served bowls of soup that tasted exactly like Campbell’s Alphabet soup, a childhood favorite.  It was comforting and we all emptied our bowls, even though we all agreed it tasted like canned soup…

One of the best deals for lunch is the Wrap Plate, which is similar in size to a burrito, and includes a small salad and soda for $5.99.  The wrap contains a grilled meat which is rolled up in the gorgeous flexible flatbread, along with some lettuce, a yogurt sauce and something salsa-like.   This is the Chapli Wrap, the ground meat patty is fragrant from cumin, ginger and coriander along with minced onion and green chilies then cooked on a large flat griddle.  It was tender and meaty and surprisingly savory.  Delicious too.

This is the Tandoori Chicken Wrap, full of chunks of succulent grilled meat.

The first time we came, I had the Tandoori Fish, which hapened to be catfish that day.  It arrived on a sizzling cast iron plate served with slices of onion and lemon with a presentation I’ve seen with fajitas or Korean bbq.  I love the smell of grilled onions, an intoxicating fragrance rose from the pan…

The flesh was so rich and juicy, moist chunks of succulent, meaty, bone-in catfish, the tandoori spice mixture coating had my lips tingling.  It was an all around excellent and unexpectedly delicious dish, full of complex and sultry flavors.

This is Chris’s Beef Tekka Kabobs, cubes of marinated sirloin, juicy and delicious.  The kebabs are all sprinkled with a dark ruby red powder that is powdered pomegranate, which adds an unusual but deliciously tangy flavor.

Lavan had the Lamb Kabobs, which he said were very good too.

Russell tried to order the ground lamb kabob, but our server dissuaded him, saying they were spicy and dry.  He was encouraged to try the Shami Kebab instead, an Indian/Pakistani specialty of ground sirloin mixed with onions, garlic, cilantro, and chili peppers grilled to perfection.

The open kitchen is in the front, which fills the room with the smells of cooking and hot metal from the grill.  Everything is cooked to order, and I was mesmerized watching the fellow in the back tending to the oven where they bake that wonderful naanlike bread.  It was a warm day and we watched the servers setup a table outside for a couple who wanted to dine al fresco.  It’s definitely a hole in the wall, maybe a bit greasy and we just imagine it must swelter inside on a really hot day, but it’s rather pleasant with a lot of attention to the details, and the food is definitely worth the trek.  

Chopan Kabob on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa April 18, 2011 at 10:28 am

What gorgeous food! Those wraps look mighty scrumptious.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Single Guy Ben April 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Mmm, the wraps look good! And where can I buy pomegranate powder!? I want!

Reply

Cookie April 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

That catfish looks so flavorful although that wrap combo is a great deal! Now I’m totally craving kabobs!

Reply

Gastronomer April 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Whoa! It’s so cool that you’re finding such great food in the suburbs. It’s about time they get some bloggin’ love 😉

Reply

grace April 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

flatbread plus all the chutney you care to douse it with–that’s all i needed to know. 🙂

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