The first is Kabul in San Carlos - while that is a bit of a hike for most of us in Menlo Park/Palo Alto, it is worth the drive to this Afghan restaurant located in an obscure strip-mall off El Camino. This is the second time we have visited with the kids, and both times have been excellent. First off, there are always lots of other families in there when we are dining. Second of all, my kids are loopy about their lentil soup. So, we always start with that, and then we order kebabs (lamb and salmon are awesome!) and an side or entree of these beautiful pillow like pastas, filled with either ground lamb or leeks and cheese. There is a yogurt sauce over the top that brings the whole dish together. With our entrees, bread is served, which the kids also inhale. Also a salad, which my son likes to poach the tomatoes and cucumbers from. And, with wine by the glass, we are all set.
Our second recommendation is Cafe Silan in Menlo Park. We just finished eating at this Kurdish restaurant tonight - it has been about a year since we had been there last. Once again, the lentil soup was a big hit with the kids, and the server brought milk for both in pretty glasses with straws. Our entrees were two house specials - Mast U Gost and another pasta pillows dish with feta and spinach (can you tell what I like?). Tastes as though the management revamped the menu, with great results. The service was friendly and quick and they brought out food for the kids early without asking. And the house bread was great, with a yogurt dill dipping sauce.
Both places will be part of our regular restaurant rotation - the best part will be telling my in-laws from Iowa that my kids enjoy Afghan and Kurdish cuisine! Priceless!