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In true Afghan style, Zalla’s cuisine is brightly spiced, satisfying, and healthful. The kebabs are bounteous—with turmeric-hued blocks of skewered chicken breast leading the way—but eat your veggies: Appetizers of lush eggplant (bandjan) laced with Greek yogurt and mint, and butternut squash (kudu) infused with saffron and cardamom highlight the vegetables’ uniquely sweet characters. We loved Zalla’s rich-and-aromatic takes on lamb shank—one with yogurt and garlic (lawand) and the other with leek and spinach (sabzi). (All meats are kosher.) The cute, affordable café is order-at-the-counter casual, but good, fresh food takes time, so ask for some Afghan flatbread while you wait. Zalla is run by the same family behind the original (now closed) Zalla Afghan Grill in Concord, and the staff—especially chef/matriarch Jamila Koshani—embodies heartfelt hospitality. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun.
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