Chopan Kebab House: Afghan Surprise in Northridge Pizzeria [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Sign Los Angeles

I can't speak to Morigi's pizza, but Chopan's Afghan food impresses.

It was a little disconcerting to arrive at an Afghan restaurant and find a Morigi’s Pizza sign out front. I entered and Chopan Kebab House proprietor Jawed Qayeum asked whether I wanted the Afghan or Italian menus. What was going on? Jawed explained that Morigi’s was open for 52 years and built a loyal following, so in addition to offering the cuisine of their homeland, he and his wife decided to continue cooking Joe Morigi’s dishes, using his recipes. The restaurant has been open for a year, following the success of the family’s sister establishment in Vancouver. They named Chopan Kebab House in honor of a “chopan,” an Afghan shepherd.

Jawed runs the front of the house at Chopan Kebab House and his wife Naseema is the chef. Their daughter Mena also lent a hand and was happy to tell us about her recent two-month trip to Kabul, an experience that sounded eye opening.

My friend acted under his assumption that you can determine the quality of a restaurant based on its soups, ordering the Soup of the Day ($3.95).

Afghan Food Los Angeles

Jawed brought us both bowls of lamb soup containing shell pasta and diced vegetables. Lamb bones and herbs supplied vivid flavor, and the single piece of bone-in lamb was surprisingly tender.

Entrees entitled us each to a crisp iceberg salad with Italian vinaigrette. Slivers of cucumber, sliced tomatoes, garbanzo beans and sliced black olives rounded out the plate. It was a good salad, but when the meat started arriving, we quickly pushed it aside.

Afghan Food Los Angeles

Ashak Dinner ($11.95) were ethereal, colorful steamed dumplings filled with leeks and coriander, blanketed with yogurt sauce, ground beef, dried mint and paprika.

Jawed informed us that Pakistanis and Indians cook their meats with a tandoor, but Afghans grill them.

Afghan Food Los Angeles

To sample several Chopan’s grilled meats, we ordered an Assorted Kebab ($12.95) dinner shrouded in sesame-studded naan that was thinner and less puffy than its Indian counterpart.

After peeling back the naan, we discovered one skewer each of chicken, shami (ground beef) and tekka (shish) kebab. Since the menu features a shepherd, it was imperative that we sample his flock. As a result, we asked Jawed to substitute lamb for chicken. Jawed was feeling generous and decided to include both animals. The ground beef and orange-hued chicken chunks were tender and juicy, but the on-the-bone lamb and tekka kebabs were overcooked.

Kebabs came with mint-flecked chutney. We judiciously spooned the spicy chutney on meats and bread.

Afghan Food Los Angeles

Qabeli Pallow ($10.95) was a simple, but satisfying basmati rice heap tossed with spices, raisins, shredded carrots and diced almonds.

The pilaf was served with the side of the day, which turned out to be a bowl of sumptuous spinach, topped with a cut of red bell pepper and containing kick by including red chile skins.

Afghan Dessert Los Angeles

Ferney ($3.99) was the only dessert available, a chilled milk pudding stirred for one-and-a-half hours. The mild custard was supposedly mixed with vermicelli and almonds, but only crushed pistachios were evident.

With only two other Afghan restaurants in L.A. County, there must not be much local demand for Afghan cuisine. Or there may not be enough chefs to prepare it well. Either way, that’s a shame, since Afghan food an interesting mix of Pakistani and Iranian cuisine, made more appealing by Naseema’s skill in the kitchen.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

We had a good time here. We were the only table the whole night but the Ashak was good. The kebabs, like you mentioned, were overcooked and not the main reason to visit. We had a really great Pastry item – it was the bottom item in the “dinner” section and it was cooked potato between two pieces of pastry that was cut like large pizza slices – it was delicious with the mint sauce and yogurt.

Going here tonight…hopefully it is still open and as good as your experience!


Askak are the best reason to visit Chopan Kebab House. There are better places for kebabs in the San Fernando Valley, particularly It’s All Good House of Kabab, which is right down Reseda Boulevard.

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