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Authentic Turkish Breakfast

I was reading about breakfasts in other countries today on Wikipedia, and came across the most delicious sounding breakfast I have ever heard of... ever. Or at least today. No. Ever.

I want it:

Turkish breakfast consists of fresh white sourdough bread, white cheese (feta), yellow cheese (kasar), fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, black and/or green olives, butter, honey, preserves, soujouk, salami, pastirma and a boiled egg — all accompanied by hot black tea in small tulip-shaped glasses. Breakfasts can be very elaborate for company or on weekends, and may include a variety of breads, pastries, and spreads, and several fresh fruits and vegetables in season, but the essential breakfast ingredients for almost every Turk on a daily basis are bread, cheese, olives, and tea.

Does anyone know a place in LA (or within 2-3 hours driving distance) where I can find a delicious, authentic, "homestyle," Turkish breakfast like the one above?

MMmmm...

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  1. Well, no since there's really not even a place to get a real Turkish dinner in the area.
    But here's an interesting alternative -- Magic Carpet in Beverly Hills is a Yemenite restaurant that serves Iraqi, Moroccan, Tunisian and Egyptian breakfast dishes.
    Most of those items sound common to other Middle Eastern countries, so maybe check into Persian and Lebanese restaurants to see if any do breakfast.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      i do not have specific knowledge of turkish food. but i was in studio city this morning, driving on ventura blvd., when i saw a restaurant on the north side of the street, just east of whitsett, which said "turkish food" on the sign. so i thought of this thread. just trying to be helpful....

      1. re: justanotherpenguin

        The name and address of the place is:

        Serra's
        12449 Ventura Blvd.
        Studio City, CA 91604
        818.760.1002

        Haven't been there myself but noticed it while driving on Ventura also.

        1. re: justanotherpenguin

          I mentioned Serra's in Studio City two days ago, yet the monitors of this board decided to remove it.
          they do not serve breakfast or lunch, however.

        2. re: Chowpatty

          The Magic Carpet is kosher and serves meat, so you wouldn't be able to get a dairy breakfast (with cheeses) there.

          1. re: nowhereonearth

            i thought that the name stated with an "S". i will jot it down next time that i'm in that part of the world.

        3. Persian breakfasts are very similar: various bread, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, walnuts, cucumbers, dates, butter, honey, preserves, boiled eggs, Persian tea and fresh fruit. I've never had this anywhere but home, as most Persian restaurants tend to focus on lunch and dinner. You can easily recreate this breakfast by going to a Persian market in LA and buying the ingredients.

          1. On a similar note, I'd love to find a place with the traditional Lebanese breakfast of FOUL which I enjoy with my family on occasion; which is a sort of stew prepared with fava beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and salt.. with the accompanying mezze of tomatoes, scallions, parsley, cucumbers, etc to add the mix. Also the mandatory sides of olives, hummous, lebne, Armenian string cheese, sheep's milk cheese, halvah, pita, etc etc. all washed down with some rich Turkish coffee.

            I know that Sunnin has Foul on their menu, but I believe it needs to be done right with the entire mezze in small plates strewn across the table.

            7 Replies
              1. re: adevejian

                I think Alcazar has Foul on the mezze menu

                A place in Encino called Aroma cafe has some middle eastern (maybe persian) breakfast dishes.
                http://www.aromabakery.com/menu.html

                  1. re: Diana

                    Been meaning to check out Alcazar for quite some time now. Now I have another reason. Thanks.

                  2. re: adevejian

                    How about an Arabian Breakfast?

                    Sham - Syrian (?) - Santa Monica - serves that on Sundays. They do not list what the dishes are, but they show a picture of 5 plates (one which looks like it might be Foul). The picture can be found on the 2nd menu page from the bottom at the bottom of that page:

                    http://www.sham.la

                    Can anyone identify what those 5 dishes are?

                    1. re: JBC

                      The one in the bottom left corner is tomato slices, grapes, cucumber slices and most likely cheese (in the center). This is the only dish that looks similar to what can be found on a Persian (and apparently on a Turkish) breakfast table. The other four dishes are a mystery to me.

                      By the way, is Sham any good? The menu looks pretty good to me. "Sham" means "Candle" in Persian. I wonder if it means the same thing in Arabic.

                      1. re: JBC

                        That's definitely not Foul. Foul is from fava beans and the stew is of a dark brown color.

                        The circular pizza-looking dish may be Manaeesh (or Lahmajoon) which is a delicious flat bread baked with a sesame paste and sesame seeds and other spices like cumin.

                        The dish on the far left looks chickpeas (or some sort of bean) with tahini/hummous on top?

                        Though its very small and difficult to ascertain, the top center dish may be hummous though its somewhat of a mystery.

                        The far right dish looks like some sort of sausage dish.

                    2. Haven't tried it yet but Wahib's in Alhambra does middle eastern breakfast (including foul).

                      www.wahibsmiddleeast.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. that would be quite a find. i think it doesn't exist. if anyone will have something similar it will be the armenian lebanese places around. unfortuantely no persian restaurants deliver a super-fresh breakfast (or any meal) in this city.

                        best to be have reason to be invited by someone at home

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: epop

                          Hi, epop,
                          What restaurants offer a Persian breakfast in LA?

                          I recently tried the ash-e-reshteh (a hearty, green vegetable soup) at Shahrzad in Westwood. It was very good, and I normally only eat homemade ash-e-reshteh. As I said above, most Persian restaurants in LA and OC specialize in lunch and dinner. I've never had breakfast in a Persian restaurant in LA or OC, nor have I seen any breakfast menus. :-)

                          1. re: katkoupai

                            hi katkoupai- canary, for ex., makes omelettes. i like their tea. but overall they just aren't kitchen artists.

                            go to byblos in montreal some time. she makes 20 kinds of homemade jam plus a variety of specialties from Rasht that no one else has. she makes the world's best omelettes. her bread is nothing special but so much else is.

                            nothing comes close in the US, as far as a persian breakfast, unless in the hands of a great chef at home.

                            the ash-e-reshteh at shahrzad is not as delicate as some i've had in people's homes. if anything the turnip soup next door at torchal is sometimes recommendable.

                            as i've said i don't really like any of the persian restaurants in LA (except once in a while the kabab barg at shaharzad).

                            1. re: epop

                              Okay, epop,
                              I've never had the food at Canary or the food at Byblos, but I'm lucky to have homemade Persian food (including jams, breakfasts, kabob, and all kinds of khoresht) all the time.

                              By omelettes, do you mean "kuku" because I've never really considered omelettes as part of Persian cuisine? Kuku sabzi is popular (made with various greens and eggs), and they have it at Attari sandwich shop in Westwood, but I don't consider that a breakfast food. It's also very different from a regular omelette, as the ratio of veggies is way higher than the ratio of eggs.

                              I thought the ash-e-reshteh at Shahrzad was very good for a restaurant. I was actually very surprised by this.

                              What is turnip soup? Do you know the name in Persian? I don't think I've ever had this dish.

                              Thanks for your reply and for the details. :-)

                              1. re: katkoupai

                                she makes kukus but also for breakfast something more like an omelet at byblos. it is halfway between scrambled eggs and an omelet, actually. incredible taste.

                                i believe the turnip soup is called ashe shoqal. it is azeri, a country food. as i said a couple times i had it and it was incredible while a couple others it was only good.

                                for a restaurant, yes, their ashe reshteh is fine. but that's the point: it shouldn't be "for a restaurant." the restaurants ought to honor this food, represent it better. and that goes for a number of cuisines./ thx

                                1. re: epop

                                  Okay, thank you. Shalgham is turnip in Persian, so I will have to do my research on this turnip soup. I really like turnips, so thanks for letting me know about this.

                                    1. re: epop

                                      Thanks. I found a recipe for ash-e-shalgham. :)

                                      1. re: katkoupai

                                        a little hot out right now but great nevertheless-- soup as poetry.

                                          1. re: katkoupai

                                            Gulens at 14552 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks is Turkish. Dunno if he does breakfast.

                        2. The only honest-to-God Turkish restaurant in LA is Sofra in the Westside Pavilion food court. You read it right, in the Westside Pavilion food court. I'd suggest going there (for the terrific Adana kebap especially), then ask the manager or the Turkish cook where they go for breakfast. Tell him Bay Grub sent ya.

                          1. I agree with your recommendation above about just preparing this at home. Are there any markets in LA where one can buy soujouk?. I know that Araz International Market in Granada Hills has great olives, jam, feta cheese and various bread, but I do not know if they have soujouk.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: katkoupai

                              Katkoupai, re: Soujouk

                              Have you tried Good Foods Market? Or possibly Garo's Basturma down the block would carry it.

                              -----
                              Good Foods Market
                              1864 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

                              Garo's Basturma
                              1088 N Allen Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                              1. re: adevejian

                                No, I haven't. Thank you very much. I'm originally from the San Fernando Valley, so I know more of the grocery stores in that area. Thank you very much for these recs. I had no idea that we had good Middle Eastern markets in Pasadena!

                                1. re: katkoupai

                                  No problem. Washington Blvd (and environs) is basically Pasadena's Little Armenia.

                                  1. re: adevejian

                                    Wow! I always thought that Glendale was the closest place for anything Armenian. This is so neat. I'll have to share this info with my family. Thanks, again. :-)

                                    1. re: katkoupai

                                      Zankou's Chicken is basically Armenian, especially their Garlic sauce, which can now be bought in 8 oz containers for a little over 3 bucks.

                                      1. re: sternlight

                                        Zankou is essentially Lebanese, including the garlic sauce.

                                        1. re: sternlight

                                          Or you can buy the same garlic sauce at Whole Foods or Super King.

                                2. re: katkoupai

                                  Super King on San Fernando road has soujouk in the deli section- great Armenian supermarket. Skaf's on Glendale has great foul and also serves soujouk

                                  1. re: clintonhillbilly

                                    Glad to see this thread resurrected - does anyone know anyplace to get simit in LA?
                                    In Turkey it was my favorite part of Turkish Breakfast.

                                     
                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                      Try this place:

                                      Güllüoğlu Pastry (aka Royal Pastry)
                                      10662 Zelzah Ave.
                                      Granada Hills, CA 91344
                                      (818) 363-2030

                                3. http://www.mamassecretbakery.com/ on West Third near Beverly Hills seems to serve Turkish breakfasts. Not sure if they have those sesame rings, but it's worth a call.