We had a good dinner last night at Restaurant Samarkand on 19th and Northern. Aside from the large lighted sign it doesn't look very inviting from the outside, but inside the tables are set with white tablecloths and full place settings. The menu is a la carte; you order single shish kebabs -- several varieties of lamb, chicken, beef (most are around $3.50)-- and side dishes separately. We had a freshly baked round flat bread with sesame seeds on top and a dish of "chumos" (hummus-like) dip, and shared a mushroom salad, consisting of straw mushrooms, red, yellow and green bell pepper and other veggies in an oil and vinegar dressing. I had the pelmeni soup, light chicken broth with lovely fresh dill and meat-filled dumplings. They have a limited selection of alcohol, including several wines, beers, and vodka. I had a light Russian beer called Baltika. The entire meal cost about $21, plus tip.
Below is a link to a review in the New Times from earlier this year. I don't always agree with Steven Lemons' opinions, but this time I think he got it right. Only one other table was occupied when we were there (7 p.m. on Saturday) so I hope more people will check out this restaurant, and keep it going.