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Ridge | Mar 5, 201909:38 PM     5

One of our favorite meals last year was at The Istanbul modern pop-up in SF. You can read my review here:

https://www.chowhound.com/post/istanb...

The Chef couple in-charge, Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz, are opening up a brick and mortar restaurant named Noosh on Fillmore. They are super nice, super amazing chefs. The cuisine is eastern Mediterranean. We have eagerly been anticipating it’s opening. On Monday we went for a soft opening of the lunch service. The restaurant is set to open in the beginning of April. The restaurant will consist of two restaurants: a more casual place which is opening first and at a later date a more upscale place next door. The soft opening was for the more casual restaurant.

The format of the restaurant is a bit unusual. The way it works is that you give them a credit card and order before you are seated to expedite the experience. Once you sit you still can order more things. The idea is to move people along smoothly.

Here is the menu:

We were very impressed with the food we tried and are anxious to return once it’s open. Here is what we ate:

Muhammara- this is a nut and red pepper spread usually made with walnuts. The version here is made with almonds and Urfa chili. It was excellent with a deep earthy and warm flavor from the Urfa (an excellent red pepper from Turkey). There was a hint of sweetness perhaps from Pomegranate molasses.

Grilled house made halumi skewers with Szechuan rose honey. This was maybe my favorite dish of the meal. Halumi is a Greek cheese. It can sometimes have a squeaky texture on your teeth that i find unpleasant. The Noosh halumi is made in-house and has a smooth more creamy texture. It was outstanding. Paired with the Szechuan rose honey (don’t know if they make it but if they do they could bottle and sell this stuff it’s so good) it was simple, transcendent and sublime at the same time.

“Greek-po’boy” fried calamari served in a pita bread with tzatziki, pickled onions, arugula, mint and parsley. I joked to the server that I had to order this because I am in-fact a Greek po-boy. Overall excellent! Great contrast of crunchy calamari, creamy tzatziki, tart onions and satisfying herbs.

Pork soujouk flatbread with fried egg. Soujouki is a kind of Turkish sausage. My grandparents would make it growing up. This dish was excellent overall, the flavor of the soujouk was spot on, but I felt like it was a bit off in terms of how long it will cooked. Had the flat bread slightly more cooked and toasty and the egg just slightly less runny it would have been amazing.

We were overall very impressed with our meal and the flavors is we tasted. Noosh is an authentic taste of the eastern Mediterranean and one you won’t find anywhere else in the bay area. We highly recommend it and are anxious to go back when it opens in April.

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