Middle Eastern Marries Modern at Zov’s

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Zov’s synonymous with heaven for those who dream of indulging in old Zov's world cuisine. Zov’s currently operates six locations, including a bistro and bakery, which specialize in the marriage of Eastern Mediterranean to contemporary cuisine. At their two locations in the John Wayne Airport, Zov’s faced the unique challenge of adjusting to the lack of time travelers have to eat. While remaining true to the caliber of food of their full services restaurants, Zov’s needed to be able to “execute signature items in a timely manner” says Zov Karamardian, owner and chef.

When preparing to grow their restaurant in a new space, Zov and her team placed equal importance on site analysis and demographic research as they did on determining if their client base would support their endeavor to expand.

“There is no substitute for experience,” Karamardian says when asked to give advice to those planning to open a new location. In fact, the original Zov’s in Tustin was open for 20 years before Karamardian decided to expand in 2006. Her extensive experience aided her in the record opening of the Irvine and Newport locations within eight months of each other and prepared her to adjust to the unexpected circumstance that would follow. “We opened both our Irvine and Newport locations with retail bakeries much like we have in Tustin. We did not even consider that they would not be a success. We were wrong! Within eight months of our openings we converted the bakery counters to full bars and they were smashing successes!”

To ensure that the Zov’s aesthetic translates to all six locations, Karamardian relies on a seasoned staff and the belief that “there will always be a customer that appreciates good food prepared with the freshest ingredients and made with care,” all qualities that have been integral factors to Zov’s success.

Zov’s is part of our series highlighting restaurant groups and chains founded and flourishing in Orange County that were featured in the May|June 2013 print issue of Great Taste Magazine. Click here for the entire article.