Giuseppe’s, 2433 N. Euclid Ave. (above 24th), San Antonio Heights
Giuseppe’s is a quaint place just north of the Upland border that specializes in both Persian and Italian foods. This means you might exclaim during your meal: “Mama mia, that’s-a spicy kebab!”
I’d been wanting to try this restaurant for ages because of the novelty. My friends Tom and Ann, who are regulars, met me there for lunch on Wednesday. Two of us ordered koobideh kabobs and the third got the lasagna. (The takeout menu doesn’t have the lunch prices but the items were under $8.)
The kabobs and rice were hearty, the lasagna cheesy. Having baskets of pita bread and French bread on the same table was slightly surreal.
Our server had earlier brought out complimentary shirazi and yogurt salads. As we were finishing our entrees, she returned with complimentary filet mignon and veggie kabobs.
I quietly asked Tom and Ann: “Do you think we’re getting all this because you’re regulars or does she know what I do for a living?” Ann replied: “Well, I did say we were waiting for a newspaper columnist…”
Sigh. (I try to eschew special treatment.)
Well, no matter why we got the free food, the kabobs were good, especially the flavorful filet mignon. We polished off about half when the server returned with complimentary baklava. No complaints there either.
The restaurant is in a small building, easy to miss, as you round the curve into San Antonio Heights proper. The restaurant interior is comfortable and well appointed, with a subtle Mediterranean influence — columns at the entryways, colorful mats under the glass tabletops, muted Middle Eastern art on the walls.
Why does Giuseppe’s have an Italian name but two different cuisines? The co-owner said her family, which is Iranian, took the pizza parlor over in 1997 (it was founded in the mid-’80s) and added the Middle Eastern items. Her husband used to own an Italian restaurant, however, and that part of the menu isn’t an afterthought.
Wonder if you can get falafel on your pizza?
* Update, March 2015: In the area one afternoon, I returned for lunch. I ordered the chicken breast kebab ($15), which comes with basmati rice. Delicious. My meal also included a basket of fresh pita bread, still hot. To my knowledge there are no restaurants above 16th in Upland unless you head to the Colonies. Giuseppe’s is out of the way (unless you live near it, of course) and a dignified spot for a quiet meal, at least at lunchtime — for all I know it gets raucous on a Saturday night. Other than the exterior photo, which is from 2009, as is the writeup above, the rest are from this 2015 visit.