And De Afghanan Kebab has mantu, those steamed dumplings stuffed with beef and onions topped with (you guessed it) yogurt and a spicy tomato sauce. Yum.
Pairing: The Middle Eastern flavor of De Afghanan Kebab House would do well with the crisp fruitiness of a Sauvignon Blanc or the spiciness of a Zinfandel. An offbeat, oft-ignored, and underrated choice might also be a rosé; its brightness pairs well with yogurt-heavy items and grilled meats.
1303 Polk, SF. (415) 345-9947;
1160 University, Berk. (510) 549-3781;
37405 Fremont, Fremont. (510) 745-9599, www.deafghanan.net
HAN IL KWAN
All I've heard about Korean food in the Richmond is, "You have to go to Brothers!" Well, here's why Outer Richmond's Han Il Kwan might make you want to break free of the siblings' sovereignty: food so authentic that San Francisco's Korean Tour Buses make a daily stop here; better ventilation, so you don't need a dry cleaner to get the funk of smoke and bulgogi out of your jacket; much easier parking than in the Inner Richmond; no wait for a table; and, for the win, you can bring your beverage of choice. It'll be hard to choose between the wonderful kalbi marinated short ribs cooked at the table and served with rice, tofu soup, and banchan and the equally killer bulgogi tender BBQ beef cooked like the kalbi.
Pairing: Korean food and wine just don't mix. Maybe it's the acidity of the kimchi competing with the acidity of the wine; maybe it's just that the cold bite of a beer is the only thing that'll make your mouth stop burning. Either way, try the Korean beer, OB Lager, or another East Asian brew like China's Tsingtao, Harbin Lager, or Macau Beer.
1802 Balboa, SF. (415) 752-4447 *