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- $12 for $20 worth of dinner for two
- $24 for $40 worth of dinner for four or more
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The team behind Helmand Palace can't bring the Helmand River—the longest in Afghanistan—to San Francisco. But while the restaurant's diners can't see the Helmand's sparkling waters, they also can't avoid its influence. Because a substantial portion of its waters are diverted to fertilize Afghan farmland, it's an essential, if often-elided, ingredient in the Afghan cuisine Helmand Palace cooks up daily.
One of their best-known dishes is the char-broiled leg of lamb, whose juicy meat is marinated in pureed vegetables and served with challow rice. This rice is a staple of the entrees, and prepared with great care: it's soaked overnight, then rinsed and baked for maximum spicy flavor. It's also the foundation of the prime rib, which is served with sun-dried grapes and sauteed lentils. One place it's absent, though, is in the beloved house baklava, a flaky dessert almost as crowd-pleasing as a layer cake whose third layer is cash.