With all of the Helmand-praising around here over the past few years, I've got to submit my personal opinion on the matter.
The place is overrated and does not deliver the food that a restaurant of its atmosphere and price level should.
The menu needs to be edited. The dozens of menu items suffer from Taco Bell Recombinatorial Menu Syndrome- everything is pumpkin-meat-rice-something. It shouldn't be so difficult to figure out what the optimal configuration is.
The food comes out looking and tasting like boring hotel food. Like a fancy wedding with competent but boring caterers. The flavors don't jump, they don't surprise me... they're mellow and pleasant, and that's it. I wouldn't mind cooking this stuff up for dinner and maybe serving it to guests... but destination food this isn't. Plus, service is distant and sometimes incompetent (if I haven't finished my starter, don't stand there with the damn entree, waiting for me to quickly finish off my plate so you can take it away).
This might be a good place to take business associates or old folks or someone else that requires unoffensive food that's palatable to a chowhound. The downside is that it's loud in there, so important conversations might be lost.
I feel like if you're gonna eat ethnic food, go for the gusto. Eat somewhere with spice, somewhere exciting.
Anyone: where is the exciting Afghan food in Boston? I like to make Afghan dishes at home, and I have been to a couple good places in NYC...
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