Looking for a place to meet up with out of town friends for dinner before Andy Irvine concert at the Plough and Stars last night, I suggested Troya. I'd been there once before, about 6 months after they first opened and while I remember having a pleasant enough experience, I'd not been back. After this trip, however, I'll definitely be making it a regular stop when I'm on that side of SF.
Three of us shared a couple rounds of mezze as well as an order of the lamb beyti, which was definitely one of the better renditions of that dish, which is adana style lamb kabob wrapped in lavash and served with a tomato yogurt sauce. We also quite enjoyed a special mezze of beef stuffed eggplant, and lovely fresh grilled sardine filets on a bit of salad greens. The thick yogurt dip with carrots was also very good, as a slightly different variation on the usual turkish yogurt dip.
But the truly outstanding mezze -- so good in the first order, we had to have a second -- was an unusual take on lamb stuffed grape leaves. Unlike every version I've had in the past, these four dolmas contained no rice or ground meat. Instead they were stuffed with long cooked, shredded lamb (like a lamb version of pulled pork) seasoned with currants, pinenuts and (I think) allspice. The stuffed grape leaves were then lightly grilled, which added a slight smoky flavor, and then drizzled with a small amount of tahini sauce. Fabulous.
The only thing we ordered that was just so-so was the borek -- in this case two sizable, fat triangles filled with spinach, pine nuts and feta. A bit dry, I've had better.
Monday through Thursday, they are offering a mezze "happy hour" from 5-7 where all mezze are $5, along with certain of their wines. The wine by the glass selections were servicable for fairly ordinary; the bottle list was longer and more interesting.
349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118