Last month I dropped by Kitchen Istanbul on a Sunday morning. This is the first time I've walked through those doors since 2008 when it was newly opened as Troya. "alfairfax" reported that it recently had a name change,
Everything looked pretty much the same. At that hour I had a choice of the Sunday brunch menu or the lunch selection. I picked one dish from each.
Warm hummus with bastirma turned out to be a thick mash of chickpeas and garlic thinned with olive oil. No tahini and minimal lemon. Blended with bits of bastirma, I liked the effect of the random nuggets of cured meatiness. Grilling the papery pita bread almost made it palatable.
Grilled Monterey Bay sardines were enormous fillets. Served with walnut tarator sauce and garnished with arugula and pickled red onions, the oily fish was charred and slightly overdone in parts. A much more rustic preparation than the one that had wow'd me at Troya but still delicious.
I enjoyed the food enough that I'd return to try more. It was nice to see things besides the usual kebap offering.
349 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
My long ago lunch at Troya (2008):