Came here after seeing the place featured on “Check, Please!” The most memorable part in the show was that this place sets a cup of tea on a small platter, then whirls the tea in a circle at your tableside, before setting the beverage on your table. It’s quite a show, lasting about 5 seconds, but when I came here with family, we didn’t order it.
Instead, the owner (Adam) ordered everything for us! We informed him that it was our first time, and he was so confident that we would like his selections that if we didn’t like a particular dish, we could swap it for something else for free! It was a nice offer, but we didn’t end up using it because all of the food was amazing.
~ Complimentary Bread: small slices, small loaf of bread, comes with butter. I prefer more moisture in my bread, but my uncle absolutely loved this bread.
~ Lentil Soup (included with entree): red lentils, red pepper paste, tomato paste, mint, black pepper, cumin, garlic, and corn oil. SPICY, especially toward the bottom of the bowl, but so delicious, especially when you dip the bread into the soup.
~ Combo Meze: included 2 Dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, and currants, cooked in olive oil, with a hint of cinnamon and mint), Cevizli Ezme (Turkish red pepper paste, tomato paste, walnut, garlic, olive oil, and cumin), Humus (garbanzo beans, tahini sauce, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice), and Haydari (cucumbers, garlic, yogurt, dill, mint, goat cheese, and sour cream). My favorite was the Ezme, which looks super spicy, but actually isn’t! Very refreshing. Full of spices, but hardly spicy. The rest of the appetizers were not particularly amazing to me. It was great to sample so many appetizers at once though.
~ Manti: homemade pasta filled with ground beef and onions, poached and served with garlic yogurt and spicy butter, $17. Tastes and looks like dumplings.
~ Saksuka: pan fried eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchini, served and topped with homemade tomato-basil sauce, served with pilaf, $16. Beautiful presentation. The veggies were a bit soggy, but it goes well with the rice, which is also good on its own.
~ Karniyarik: eggplant stuffed with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and chopped parsley, baked in oven, served with pilaf, $16. Looks like a giant, elongated meatball until you break into it. Then you’ll immediately see the eggplant. It was interesting, and different.
~ Sebzeli Guvec: lamb, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, and pepper paste, baked in casserole and served with pilaf, $17. Mildly spicy. Resembles the Stuffed Eggplant.
~ Sarma Beyti Kebab: skewered spicy ground beef wrapped with lavas bread, topped with homemade tomato sauce and garlic yogurt, $17. This is their signature dish, but I actually didn’t care for this one. Looks like a bunch of sliced bananas with whipped cream in the center. Hardly spicy. A bit chewy. The owner said they cook this twice, the details are too long for me to include here.
~ Kebab Combo 1: lamb chop, 2 koftes, lamb and chicken shish kebab, flame-broiled, served with pilaf and veggies, $24. Best presentation and most tender meat out of all the dishes we had.
Clearly, we sampled a ton of food. It was all very filling, refreshing, and flavorful. The service is remarkable. This place is pricey, but the place definitely fills up with customers. Also, gratuity is automatically included on the bill for large groups.