We got there just after opening on a Sunday evening, so it wasn't busy, yet. We shared the outdoor patio with one other table of people and a few curious hornets (they weren't hungry...just curious. One of them fell into the yogurt dip and spent several minutes giving herself a bath after I fished her out with a used skewer...)
On a recommendation from our very attentive server, we opted for the Horsemen's platter -- pretty awesome! The hummus is made from lentils rather than chickpeas, and sabzi mast is a spinach-based dip/spread, accompanied by warm pita breads and a salad. I loved the flavors of both spreads, and have every intention of learning how to make them for myself!
EVERYTHING on the platter was wonderful! I liked the textures as well as the flavors, and even the eggplant (which I don't usually go for) was wonderfully tasty. The lamb shoulder was so tender, I didn't need a knife to cut it, and the grilled chicken was still juicy, rather than dry. The grilled lamb was pink, as it should be, and the dolmah...well, let's just say that my own cabbage rolls are gonna get a makeover...
I had a traditional Afghan drink called dough -- it's a thin yogurt, flavored with mint and a little salt, served over ice. I loved it -- very refreshing on a hot day. But it will not be to everyone's taste, so be warned: it's not sweet, nor is it carbonated. It's a little sour, a little astringent, and a little salty. If you like buttermilk, you will probably like dough.
We deliberately left a good portion of our dinner on the platter for take-home (!) so we could try a couple of their traditional desserts: rice pudding and milk pudding, made with cardamom and sprinkled with pistachios. Neither of them is too sweet, which is good as far as I'm concerned. I don't like a lot of sugar, and I liked these desserts very much. The milk pudding is a little sweeter than the rice pudding, but it's balanced by being lighter in texture and in density, and was my personal preference.
Anyone who is familiar with, and likes, Mediterranean food will probably like Afghan food, although there are some differences. Less lemon, more cilantro. Cabbage rather than grape leaves. Not really heavy with garlic, although there is some.
I wish I had thought to get the name of our server. She was wonderful! Not only attentive without actually hovering, but friendly and knowledgeable, as well. I had questions, and she had the answers!
Our first time. Definitely not our last!