Turkish restaurants may be few and far between in LA, but that doesn’t mean traditional dishes can’t be uncovered in the city’s collection of Mediterranean kitchens. Here’s where Chowhounds say to go for solid versions of Turkish kebabs, salads, and pastries.
• At family-owned New Anatolia Mediterranean Café in Westwood, many guests converse with the staff in Turkish, and meats rotate on vertical spits above charcoal at the back of the open kitchen. The iskender kebab is the thing to try—lamb doused with tomato sauce as it cooks—but be sure to save room for fresh walnut baklava (pictured).
1942 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles; 310-446-0055
• Finding the downtown alley known as St. Vincent Court can be a challenge, but your reward is Sevan Garden Kebab House, a shop with killer feta, tabbouleh, and a must-try chef’s special: manti, Turkish beef dumplings topped with garlic yogurt and buttery tomato sauce. The bad news? The shop is only open weekdays, and only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
621 S. Broadway, Los Angeles; 213-489-5626
• Sako’s Mediterranean Cuisine is a nice spot for Turkish bites in the San Fernando Valley. The kitchen here also offers a range of kebabs, but you can nibble other traditional eats like ichli kofte (meat-filled fried croquettes), borek (fried phyllo dough stuffed with feta), and dolma (stuffed grape leaves) off the starters menu.
6736 Corbin Avenue, Reseda; 818-342-8710
• Lahmacun looks a bit like pizza, a thin layer of dough typically adorned with minced vegetables, lamb, or beef plus herbs. The Old Sasoon Bakery in Pasadena makes quality lahmacun for around a buck each. There’s also baklava by the pound or tray and made-to-order khachapuri, Georgian bread similar to Turkish pide that's filled with cheese.
1132 N. Allen Avenue, Pasadena; 626-791-3280
Photo of baklava from New Anatolia / Facebook