finally went to the afghan restaurant suggested here. It's called Afghan cuisine, on Ventura in the valley. We ate wonderfully. I remembered that at Magnolia on Sunset they had sambosas (ancestor of the Indian somosa, brought to India by the Mughals from Central Asia), and although they don't have them on the menu, the woman made us a huge plate and they were great, lighter than the Indian variety, although fried, and smaller. Two kinds of dumplings we had, mandu and ashak with leeks, great little roasted quail, ghabali polo (like an Iranian or Turkish polo/pilaf but with some pomegranate flavoring), and the quail came with bits of roast lamb that had been marinated in either verjus or lemons or something, but it was fantastic.
They have some alcohol, and some fruit slushes, and two of us had a sour cherry sharbat (diluted fruit syrup, pretty good).
They also have an open-air patio, enclosed by the restaurant with fountain and ashtrays for smokers among you.