Details

Bamian Afghan Cuisine

5634 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041

703-820-7880

Neighborhood: Falls Church, Baileys Crossroads

Cuisines: Middle Eastern, Afghan

Opening Hours:
Open Monday through Saturday 11 to 11, and Sunday 11 to 10:30.

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Metro Stops: East Falls Church, Ballston-MU

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Intimate

Reservations: Not Needed

Website: http://www.bamianrestaurant.com

Best Dishes:
Mantu with ground beef; aushak with chopped scallions; bulanee; carrayee, a lamb stir-fry; sauteed eggplant; sauteed pumpkin with yogurt; lamb-chop kabobs; qabili palau; baklava.

Price Details:
Appetizers $3.95 to $4.95, entrées $9.95 to $14.95.

Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Bamian Afghan Cuisine

Afghan stews and kebabs served in an elegant dining room.

June 2006 Cheap Eats

Glittering chandeliers and silky window treatments take Afghan cuisine into fine-dining territory at this restaurant named for an Afghan city where the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddha statues. But while the space is suited to a grand wedding, the cooking has a personal, homespun feel.

Mantu and aushak, those oversize raviolis, at first seem familiar. Mantu is filled with ground beef, aushak with chopped scallions, and both get a blanket of tomato and yogurt. But they also get a generous shake of spicy sumac, the Lawry's salt of the Middle East, used with abandon in Persian cooking but less often in Afghan. Even more of a scorcher is carrayee, a stir-fry of lamb chunks, onions, tomatoes, green pepper, and crushed hot red peppers. By contrast, a saute of eggplant, smoky and sweet, is a welcome respite from the heat, as is kadu chalau, sauteed pumpkin with a dollop of yogurt and a splash of tomato.

Tender garlic-laden lamb chops, called lamb ribs here, are the best of the kebabs, although they're well done rather than rosy. Stir-fried spinach turns up bland, and boolawnee, a large triangle of dough filled with potato and leeks, could have used more time in the oven. But Bamian has enough going for it to let a few missteps slide.