By: Courtney Dabney
Sean and Maria Pourteymour got engaged after only knowing each other for 1 1/2 weeks. It’s that same spontaneity and self-assuredness that led them to become entrepreneurial trailblazers. What launched in 2004 by the power couple as a small Mediterranean family restaurant in San Diego after not being able to find a healthy fast-food alternative has developed into nearly 50 locations throughout Southern California and Texas.
Growing up, Maria worked in her own family’s restaurant where she acquired a penchant for fresh, healthy cooking. Combining that experience with her commercial real-estate developer husband’s Iranian heritage resulted in a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. The fact that the Mediterranean diet was becoming wildly popular contributed to Luna Grill’s success. Another factor that played into the restaurant chain’s big boom was the recession in the late 2000s. Previous stay-at-home parents rejoined the workforce. Luna Grill acted as a home kitchen to many of those moms and dads multiple nights a week.
Acting now as the chief cuisine officer, Maria is responsible for culinary research, cooking processes and recipe development restaurant-wide. Sean oversees strategic operations and deals with the capital-raising strategies and manages investor relations.
Luna Grill’s 2,400-square-foot Mansfield location dishes up delectable fare such as gourmet salads, fresh appetizers including hummus and falafel, wraps, signature kabob plates and a handful of simple desserts. A modest craft beer and wine menu is also available.
On a recent visit, I started with the Sampler Platter ($10.25) so I could get a tiny taste of several menu items like the falafel, stuffed grape leaves, couscous medley and hummus. Per the suggestion of a friend who regularly frequents Luna Grill, I also ordered the Never, Ever Gyros ($10.75) – a blend of beef, lamb and traditional Near-Eastern spices – with a side of the Quinoa Tabouleh. Each selection was prepared fresh-to-order, and the made-daily marinades and sauces enhanced every bite. With most meals weighing in between 200 and 600 calories, Luna Grill is a smart choice for those watching their diet.
Ideal for a quick lunch, Luna Grill’s ambiance could be referred to as “Luxe Casual.” The restaurant chain’s newest eatery includes a handsome patio and showcases what they call “Luna 3.0,” a blend of modern and vintage elements meant to invoke a comfortable feel for the family. Luna Grill opened another location at The Shops at Clearfork in May.
By: Courtney Dabney