Dear Mr. Gold:

I learned last night that Uzbekistan has closed — not the country, but the wonderful Central Asian restaurant on La Brea and Sunset that offered up the food and culture of the former Soviet republic. The food was incredible there, especially the lagman. Is there anywhere I can go to find a comparable version of this tasty noodle dish?

—Stephan C., North Hollywood

Dear Stephan C.:

I too was devastated by Uzbekistan’s closing — I’d been going there since the month it opened. And there really is no substitute. Uzbek food will probably have to wait until the next time you’re in New York, where there are a slew of kosher restaurants serving the cuisine.

But if you have a liberal concept of Uzbek cooking, several restaurants serve dishes from the general region: Afghan restaurants. Malan, a northern-Chinese noodle place in Hacienda Heights, serves a handmade noodle dish that is pretty close to lagman. And the Afghan restaurant Chopan Kebab House in Northridge has a lot of dishes similar to their Uzbek counterparts, including flaky sambosas, the lamb-filled dumplings called manti and a carrot-intensive qabeli palaw that is very similar to the Uzbek rice dish plov. There is no lagman, unfortunately, but the kebabs are among the best in town. 8910 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, (818) 885-1616.

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