4917 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Middle Eastern, Afghan
Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 9:30, Friday and Saturday 5 to 10:30, and Sunday 5 to 9:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Pastries such as bulanee (with leeks) and sambosa (with meat and chickpeas); open-faced dumplings known as mantu (with meat) and aushak (with scallions); quabili pallow, brown basmati rice with carrots, raisins, and braised lamb; stewed pumpkin with yogur
Starters around $6; entrées $12.50 to $18.95.
Why go: This flash-free, ikat-decorated dining room hops at dinnertime, when crowds settle in for terrific Afghan turnovers and dumplings and satisfying stews.
What to get: Bulanee kachalu, thin pockets of fried pastry with spiced potatoes and ground beef; aushak, dumplings filled with sautéed scallions and smothered with yogurt, and mantu, a version with ground beef; chalow kadu, tender, sweetened pumpkin with yogurt—a vegetarian’s dream; chalow bademjan, a ratatouille-like eggplant stew; sabsi chalow, a liberally garlicked lamb-and-spinach stew.
Best for: Quiet family dinners; a Sunday meal likely to yield leftovers for the week.
Insider tip: Although kebabs are a large part of the menu, they’re not as good as the appetizers, stews, and rice dishes.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.