A taste of California fused with authentic Afghan spices is what Lodi resident Mokhtar Amin brings with his new restaurant Kabobi Go.
As the visionary behind Kabobi Go, Amin aims to highlight the traditional flavors of Afghan street food while incorporating fresh organic ingredients into his dishes.
Amin composed his menu of locally sourced produce and ingredients because he believes as a restaurant owner he can influence the local culinary scene and help shift restaurants towards pure organic menus.
“As business owners, we are responsible for leading efforts to change the way food has been sourced,” Amin said. “Food is medicine, and what we put in our bodies becomes a part of us.”
Amin has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for over 25 years, including a stint at the James Beard award-winning restaurant Slanted Door, which has been featured in the Michelin Guide.
“Being in that environment taught me a lot about fine dining, and a lot about working with quality products and ingredients,” Amin said.
While working in San Francisco Amin has learned the importance of getting to know the people that source your food, and is looking forward to meeting local farmers and cultivating a community environment around his restaurant.
“We have this kabob sandwich on our menu, and the bread for the sandwich is going to be made by an organic bakery in Volcano. It is such a delight to not only know you are getting a locally sourced product but that you are supporting a small business as well,” Amin said.
The menu will feature items that integrate eastern and western flavors and vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items.
“I want my menu to be accessible to all, and I also want it to tell a story through the fusion of flavors that relays my Afghan heritage and my California upbringing,” Amin said.
Amin believes that through his ethnic identity, he is able to deliver a harmonious convergence of flavor that will bring out a multi-dimensional range of flavor.
“Food is about simplicity, it is about taking what exists and amplifying those flavors, without overwhelming someone’s palate,” Amin said.
The restaurant will feature a fine dining experience with a fast-casual ambiance, according to Amin. There will be a casual counter where people can order and once they order they can take a seat themselves, and their order is brought out to them.
“I like that hybrid flexibility. I never really liked the Chipotle model, because I feel like the food is out too long. I also like that people can come to the counter and order instead of waiting for someone to take their order,” Amin said.
The restaurant will complete its final inspections in the coming week and they are expecting to fully open towards the middle of April.
Kabobi Go is located at 14814 Thornton Road. An active website that features the menu and the restaurant's social media pages can be found at kabobigo.com.