The market closed temporarily in 2015 while a four-story apartment complex was built at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real in Mountain View. After community backlash, the developer agreed to sign affordable long-term leases for several small businesses at the site, including Rose Market, so they could remain in the ground floor of the new building once it opened.
The former, humble Rose International Market in 2013. Photo by Michelle Le.
The renovated Rose International Market carries the same specialty grocery items, fresh produce and prepared foods that have made it a local favorite for decades. With "coming soon" notes posted on the windows in recent weeks, customers have been eagerly peering in for a glimpse of the renovated space.
Saied Mehranfar, a native of Iran, opened the original Rose International Market with his brothers on Castro Street 31 years ago. He eventually moved to the larger location at the corner of Castro and El Camino and later opened additional markets in Cupertino and Saratoga. He proudly claims to serve the "best kebab in the Bay Area."
Inside the new and improved Rose International Market in Mountain View. Photo by Veronica Weber.
The new Rose International Market is updated and larger but longtime customers will recognize many of the same Middle Eastern products, from imported Persian candies and pickled everything to massive tubs of tahini and blocks of fresh feta cheese. The market makes its own yogurt and jams. The market also now stocks Indian items like lentils and Italian pestos and dried pasta.
Pickled garlic and vegetables in the aisles of the remodeled Rose International Market. Photo by Veronica Weber.
The kitchen, led by Rose Market's longtime Iranian chef, is again churning out kebabs, koubideh, khoresh (stews), tahdig (crispy-bottomed rice), wraps, salads and other dishes. Rose International Market will now serve chicken koubideh, a kebab made from ground chicken, onion and spices, which customers had often requested at the old store, according to staff.
You can order kebabs with lavash bread, on top of white basmati rice or as a "super sandwich," wrapped with vegetables, onion and tomato. All meats are halal.
The produce section includes both standard and specialty produce, such as Persian cucumbers, sour cherries (when in season) and green almonds.
The new development offers plenty of outdoor seating -- and, crucially, parking. There's a handful of one-hour parking spots behind the market, off Castro Street, as well as an underground garage.
Rose International Market's hours are Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The grill opens at 11 a.m. and closes one hour before the store does.