TL Restaurant of the Week: De Afghanan Kabob House
What’s good in the Tenderloin?
In conjunction with the Tenderloin Equitable Development Project, UC Hastings students and staffers regularly sample a delicious neighborhood restaurant for TEDP’s Restaurant of the Week. Most students are not aware that so many great eateries are only a couple minutes’ walk from campus.
This week, UC Hastings 3L Sammy Alshatti and Associate Director of Admissions Mario Lopez ’15 were treated to Afghani food at De Afghanan Kabob House located at 1035 Geary Boulevard.
ASUCH President Sammy Chang recommended De Afghanan Kabob House as a neighborhood establishment that he always wanted to check out and it definitely lived up to the hype. Quietly tucked away in the northwest reaches of the TL, the family owned and operated Kabob House has been serving traditional Afghani dishes to the community for the last three years.
The founder of De Afghanan Kabob House, Aziz Omar and his immediate family, opened their first restaurant location in 1994 in what is known as “Little Kabul” in Fremont, California (after the robust Afghan population that immigrated to the escape the conflicts of the 80s and 90s). The sister location here in San Francisco is named after a neighborhood in Aziz’s home country and is run by his nephew Jayhoon.
Chef Jayhoon, together with his younger brother and sister, expertly prepare his family’s classic recipes 6 days a week and helped get the UC Hastings crew started off with a drink called “dogh.” The dogh is made from fresh yogurt that is daily produced in-house with no additives. According to Jayhoon, “It’s tart. Some people make a face after the first taste, but love it after a few sips.”
Afghani cuisine is influenced by Indian, Persian, and Mongolian flavors such as masala, saffron, cinnamon, cloves, parsley, dill, and mint. As plate after plate of great food came to the table, Sammy, whose mother is Iranian, remarked that “it’s like Persian food, but with some subtle and distinct differences.”
Of course, the Kabob House’s signature is their succulent kabobs marinated in special De Afghanan spices and seasoning, served with bread and seasoned brown or white rice. Other authentic fare includes the Quabili Pallow, lamb covered with brown seasoned basmati rice and topped with chopped carrots and raisins, and the Mantoo, a pastry shell (like dumplings) stuffed with onion and beef filling and topped with curried vegetables. “We simmer the lamb overnight to get the best flavor,” quipped Jayhoon.
Even though Mario had an appointment back on campus, he couldn’t help grabbing seconds of the kabobs and noted, “This is some good stuff, folks!” The comfortable setting at De Afghanan Kabob House is worth a sit-down meal, but this great food is also available for delivery on campus through Yelp (for those on the go, like Mario).
For more Tenderloin Restaurant of the Week reviews and news about the community, visit the Tenderloin Equitable Development Project page: http://www.tedpsf.org/.
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