Afghanistan is known for three things: an ability to repel foreign invaders, a talent for producing most of the world's opium, plus kites, and the kids who run with them. Adding food in Allston to that list, Ariana Cuisine.
From two Helmand alum (and first time restaurateurs in the US) eager to add an authentic Afghani joint to the area, AC's rocking out the 60-seat former Dawat space with warm yellow walls/dark wood accents, decorative spice-filled jars, and a large two-wall exposed wooden wine rack, which you've tried not to stare at, but damn, it covers almost two walls! House specialties include Qabili (chunks of lamb shank baked w/ raisins, glazed julienne of carrots, and spiced rice); Kofta Challow (Afghan seasoned beef meatballs sautéed with sun dried tomato, hot peppers, and green peas); and a prime rib of grilled beef marinated in onion puree, sun dried baby grapes, and garlic in fresh tomato sauce w/Challow rice, which has no problem dating Navy Beans just cuz they look good in uniform. Other obscure deliciousness includes grilled leg of lamb w/ yellow split peas, garlic mushrooms, and vinegar-marinated onions; Murgh Kabob (a spinach/rice-sided char broiled marinated chicken breast); and pan-fried sea bass sautéed w/ radishes, potatoes, peeled tomatoes, and ginger, which, after walking out mid-tour in '01, is no longer even considered a Spice.
If your sweet tooth's driving, AC's whipping up Feereny, a fresh fruit topped cream pudding, Sheerberaing (rice pudding blended w/ pistachio and cardamom), and Turkish coffee, which, unlike kites, can be dangerous to run with.