De Afghanan Kabob House Tenderloin Afghan Bolani | Tasting Table San Francisco

A meaty spot's signature vegetarian appetizer

The bolani is back.

There's no wondering what to order at the new De Afghanan Kabob House in the Tenderloin, which opened a month ago. Its name is basically a big neon arrow.

Before you tuck into the skewered meats, however, you'll first want to demolish De Afghanan's signature stuffed crepe ($10).

Aziz Omar opened the original De Afghanan Kabob House in Fremont in 1994. It's still a tiny, cramped spot whose walls are saturated with the smells of garlic and smoke. That was the first place we tried the potato, leek and chile-filledĀ bolani ($10), and the prepackaged versions we've bought at farmers' markets have never quite lived up to the memory.

When we rediscovered the freshly made crepe at the new San Francisco location, we remembered why: So thin it makes pita look chunky, De Afghanan's bolani is crisped on both sides, with a thin, creamy layer of leek-flecked mashed potatoes at its center. A spoonful of house-made yogurt and a few dots of spicy cilantro chutney set off the flavors.

Of course, to praise the crepe is not to disparage the kabobs, especially the teka kabob ($12). A thick paste of garlic, onions and aromatics coats the chunks of beef before they hit the grill, and they arrive at the table with rose-hued centers.

Just don't make us choose between the two.