Sunday, September 2, 2012

Azeen's Afghani Restaurant

Years ago, we had Afghani food in San Francisco and jumped at the chance to have it again last weekend in Pasadena. It's sort of like Northern Indian food, but somewhat different in terms of spices. Azeen's Afghani Restaurant came highly recommended on and did not disappoint.

This is a good special occasion restaurant. The atmosphere is elegant, the service attentive.

Must-haves are the mantu appetizers: ravioli-like dumplings filled with ground lamb and topped with yogurt and vegetables. For entrees, Bill went with the Smarooq Challaw, above--chicken sauteed with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and green peppers. I had the Quabili Pallaw, below. Under that mound of exquisitely seasoned rice (think cinnamon, cardamom, etc.) are the tenderest pieces of lamb ever. We took half of these mountains of food home and had a second dinner the next night.

One wall of the restaurant features numerous alcoves with murals--my favorite, of course, is this one with the camels.