A La Turk
A La Turk is a Turkish restaurant specializing in kebabs and pide.
Most items are cooked using a wood-burning oven or a charcoal grill, with all breads and pizzas made from scratch on site.
The oven blazes away in full view of the dining room, taking a little time to heat up when the restaurant opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Meals begin with complimentary puffy Turkish bread, sometimes called balloon bread because of its steam-filled volume, baked in the oven with butter and sesame seeds on top―incredibly soft and easy to tear.
It’s meant to accompany a selection of regularly changing dips or meze, today’s being a long bean with dill and garlic, yogurt with spinach and wheat, carrot and walnut with yogurt, and grilled eggplant mashed with grilled peppers. All are very different, and the carrot shines, nutty but bright and fresh.
Cig kofte ($10) are an appetizer of crumbly, spicy hand-pressed Turkish patties, meant to be eaten in lettuce wrap form with a little cucumber and tomato.
The veal fillet pide ($18) is on the more expensive end of a list of wood oven Turkish pizzas, but the tender, marinated minced meat and stretchy Turkish mozzarella combined feel worth it, some veggies also on top for good measure.
Lahmacun (seasoned minced lamb) and spinach (both $14) provide less pricey options.
Ali Nazik kebab ($28) skyrockets in price but the quality is still present, a garlicky yogurt and charcoal-grilled smoked eggplant mash scattered with juicy minced veal kebab. Triangles of bread surrounding the plate are the best part, fried in veal juices and butter.
The Sarma Beyti kebab ($28) combines ground beef and veal with seasonings for a charcoal-grilled kebab, which gets wrapped in house bread with oven-baked eggplant and cheese.
The whole thing goes into the oven, and when it comes out, it’s topped with tomato sauce, butter, yogurt and pistachio. The result is a warm, soft and messy but smoky and hearty kebab wrap.
Most plates like this are accompanied by piles of salads, thinly sliced red onion and sweet little popping yellow peppers as well as a long green grilled pepper.
The mixed kebab ($35) feels most fairly priced, loaded with charcoal-grilled lamb chop, veal fillets, meaty chicken wings, and a warmly seasoned doner kebab of ground beef and veal.
There’s also a tomato-y pile of bulgur on this plate in addition to the usual salads.
Irmik Helvasi ($10) is basically a baklava ice cream sandwich, vanilla ice cream between sticky base and a crispy top.
Though blinds dim the already dark-toned room, the spot is situated on a corner with big windows that could optionally let in a large amount of light.