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Tysons Corner Center adds Persian restaurant, plans pizza stall in food court

Maman Joon, a Persian restaurant originally based in D.C., is now open at Tysons Corner Center.

Opened during the first week of April, the eatery is located at 8048 Tysons Corner Center on the mall’s second level next to the Pakistani cafe Cha Tea House, replacing the permanently closed Cava.

It joins a growing collection of tenants at the mall catering to the D.C. region’s robust and diverse Arab and Middle Eastern population, including the restaurant Istanbul Kitchen and the Saudi-inspired coffee shop Shotted.

“I think Tysons Corner mall is one of the best malls in the country,” Maman Joon co-owner Peter Tabibian said. “…We know there’s a lot of Persian community and a lot of people from Qatar, Saudi and Middle Eastern countries in that area. We thought there was a void for a Persian [or] Middle Eastern concept, and we thought it would be a great fit to put Maman Joon out there.”

Maman Joon’s expansion to Tysons follows what Tabibian says has been a successful opening in McLean, where the business is co-located with Z-Burger — another concept created by Tabibian and his business partner, McLean resident Kevin Ejtemai.

The paired restaurants opened at 1408 Chain Bridge Road over the summer, becoming the team’s first Virginia locations for both brands. Z-Burger also entered Alexandria’s West End in February.

Both restaurants are distinguished by fresh, quality ingredients and the care put into cooking each meal, Tabibian says. At Maman Joon, all of the meat is certified halal from Lorton-based Washington Lamb, and the chicken kabob, for instance, is marinated for about 38 hours.

“It’s really working out, because some kids come and get a burger and their parents get a kabob, and then vice versa and it’s just been excellent,” he said. “We could not ask for a better combination and a better location. It’s been wonderful.”

At roughly 2,500 square feet, the Tysons Maman Joon is smaller than the one in McLean, which shares about 4,000 square feet with Z-Burger, so the menu has been trimmed down. In addition to kabobs, the restaurant sells soups, salads, wraps and vegetarian rice dishes.

While Tysons Corner Center isn’t getting a Z-Burger, the food court is slated to fill a long-vacant space next to California Tortilla with My Own Pizza, a New York-style pizzeria at Federal Center Plaza in D.C. also run by Tabibian and Ejtemai.

Like at the original location, the pizza will be made on-site in a brick oven. No changes are expected to the menu, which also features calzones and salads.

The stall is about three weeks away from opening, Tabibian estimated, suggesting it could be ready in time for the summer.

“That’s going to be kind of a plus for us, being next to the movie theater,” he said. “It’s going to be in and out basically. Pizzas are really like, if you’re in a rush, you can get it out quickly. I visited most of the places in New York that sell pizzas, and I have talked to the people that have been making pizzas for 30, 40, 50 years, so I got a lot of secrets on how to make the best pizza. So, I think people are going to be out for a treat.”

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