A La Turca
869 Geary Street
This place is listed on the Chronicle’s Bargain Bites list, so for our quarterly catch-up session, Andrea and I went to the Tenderloin to check it out.
Though I would not classify the meal as a Grubgirl bargain, I AM highlighting this as a very solid return on value.
One appetizer, two entrees, a beer, and a soda later, we were set back $52. For Grubgirl to be ok with this is huge (of course, she had a nice stash of leftovers to bring back, too.)
First an intro. What is Turkish cuisine? Wikipedia says that…:
Turkish cuisine inherited its Ottoman heritage which could be described as a fusion and refinement of Turkic, Arabic, Greek, Armenian and Persian cuisines.
I just associated it with lamb, and away we went.
The hummus appetizer we ordered tasted freshly made, though it easily could’ve come from a can because it was so smooth. Whatever method they used, it was tasty. The bread that went with it was different than the usual pita bread that I’ve seen. It looked like a variation of a bagel, with a rounded, poofy shape. Tasty.
We then shared the Combo Grill Meat ($13.50) with Lamb sish, kofte, doner, and beef sish. Whatever that meant. We had lamb and beef brought off the skewer (the sish??), and then the meat that you usually find in gyros (I guess that’s lamb, too). This came with rice, a fresh green salad (romaine lettuce, thank you), and a big quarter chunk of grilled tomato. Optional dip was also perfectly done — not too fatty and not too processed.
We also ordered the Lamb Chops ($14.75). Since this place was about lamb, why the heck not. We got four chops, and they were tender as buttah. (This also made me realize how overcooked my home attempts at a lamb chop are.) Of course, chops being chops, you will have to use your hands and gnaw at some of the meat to really pick the bone clean. In this case, the meat came off easily. Delicious.
Other highlights? Clean surroundings, and friendly/helpful service. They spotted us as newbies and provided explanations on a few dishes.
The only drawback? Well, it is in the Tenderloin, but it’s not so terribly deep in the heart. However, getting a cab ride back can be dodgy so be prepared to drive and park close, or look confident when hailing the cab.