Last night my wife, a friend and I had the opportunity to dine at Azeen's in Pasadena for the first time.
First Impressions: We arrived just as they were opening for dinner at 5:30. A little earlier than I usually eat, but our friend had another engagement to get to at 7pm, so that's the way it was. The space is very comfortable and pleasntly decorated with rugs, paintings and a generally "Afghani" feel. Music (Middle eastern of some kind) played quietly in the background for most of the meal.
We were seated immediately and presented with menus. Throughout the course of the meal, the service was prompt, efficient and friendly.
Their menu is online (http://www.pasadena.com/bus_images/Me...), but has changed a bit.
We started with the Aushak, tasty little fried scallion doughnuts with ground beef and yougurt on top. The dumplings were light and crispy, and the sour yougurt set off the crunchy oily flavors quite nicely.
The Pakawra-e-Badenjan had the same sauce, but over eggplant. It was good, but after the Aushak, unremarkable.
We tried the soup as well, a noodle soup, with peas and legumes and ground meat. And of, course, yogurt. Nearly everything has yogurt on it, or in it. The soup was very hearty, and hit the spot after coming in from the early evening chill.
Finally, we also sampled the Challaw Sabsi and Challaw Kudu. Both are vegetarian dishes. The Sabsi was a stew of spinach and garlic over rice, while the Kudu was baked butternut squash with a yogurt squash. The squash was sweet and perfectly done. The combination of sweet and sour tastes using the yogurt was consistent through the meal.
A green chutney was provided, and the "Base-level" of heat was very low. Much lower than most Indian food.
All told, the bill was roughly $70 for the three of us, without drinks.
If you're near Old Town Pasadena, I wouldn't hesistate to recommend Azeen's. The food was excellent, as was the service.
110 E. Union St.
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