Afghanistan, on a map: land-locked, sandwiched between questionable neighbors, ringed by mountains, crisscrossed by dangerous (and often impassable) roads. No wonder Afghan cuisine is limited to what can be grown domestically -- importing fresh food is a life or death enterprise. So, in the restaurants of Kabul you'll get ample lamb, chicken, rice, naan, and sturdy vegetables like cauliflower and potatoes. You will not easily find beef, pork (this is a Muslim country, after all), fish or salad.
C. Jolly Kabuli Palao at Azeen's Afghani Restaurant
The ingredients are scant but Afghan food is hearty and delicious: heaping piles of dumplings, platters of rice, stewed meat and vegetables. This cuisine is not for dainty eaters nor those with sensitive stomachs; it's designed for farmers and fighters. While Los Angeles has hundreds of Middle Eastern restaurants, there are only two in the area that specifically focus on Afghan food. Here we put them head to head.More »