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Authentic Turkish Breakfast

cbrundage Jul 7, 2007 01:33 PM

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?


  1. Chowpatty Jul 7, 2007 05:59 PM

    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
      justanotherpenguin Jul 9, 2007 02:55 PM

      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
        ally bo bally Jul 10, 2007 12:06 AM

        The name and address of the place is:

        12449 Ventura Blvd.
        Studio City, CA 91604

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

        1. re: justanotherpenguin
          carter Jul 11, 2007 05:21 PM

          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
          nowhereonearth Jul 9, 2007 04:16 PM

          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
            justanotherpenguin Jul 9, 2007 10:51 PM

            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. katkoupai Jul 8, 2007 12:10 AM

          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. adevejian Jul 8, 2007 12:29 AM

            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
              katkoupai Jul 10, 2007 11:13 AM

              This sounds really delicious. :)

              1. re: adevejian
                Diana Jul 10, 2007 11:23 AM

                I think Alcazar has Foul on the mezze menu

                A place in Encino called Aroma cafe has some middle eastern (maybe persian) breakfast dishes.

                1. re: Diana
                  katkoupai Jul 10, 2007 11:31 AM

                  Thanks, Diana. :-)

                  1. re: Diana
                    adevejian Jul 10, 2007 04:36 PM

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

                  2. re: adevejian
                    JBC Jul 13, 2007 03:24 PM

                    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:


                    Can anyone identify what those 5 dishes are?

                    1. re: JBC
                      katkoupai Jul 13, 2007 05:34 PM

                      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
                        adevejian Jul 13, 2007 06:59 PM

                        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. browndoggie Jul 9, 2007 02:07 PM

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


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: browndoggie
                        adevejian Jul 10, 2007 04:37 PM

                        Must try this as well, thanks.

                      2. e
                        epop Jul 10, 2007 12:34 AM

                        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
                          katkoupai Jul 10, 2007 01:29 PM

                          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
                            epop Jul 11, 2007 12:37 AM

                            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
                              katkoupai Jul 11, 2007 12:51 AM

                              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
                                epop Jul 11, 2007 05:18 PM

                                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
                                  katkoupai Jul 11, 2007 08:41 PM

                                  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: katkoupai
                                    epop Jul 12, 2007 09:08 AM


                                    1. re: epop
                                      katkoupai Jul 12, 2007 09:19 AM

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

                                      1. re: katkoupai
                                        epop Jul 12, 2007 03:14 PM

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

                                        1. re: epop
                                          katkoupai Jul 12, 2007 09:32 PM


                                          1. re: katkoupai
                                            sternlight Jul 21, 2007 02:40 AM

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

                        2. m
                          Mr Grub Jul 10, 2007 12:56 PM

                          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. katkoupai Jul 20, 2007 08:57 PM

                            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
                              adevejian Jul 20, 2007 09:31 PM

                              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
                                katkoupai Jul 20, 2007 09:34 PM

                                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
                                  adevejian Jul 20, 2007 09:38 PM

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

                                  1. re: adevejian
                                    katkoupai Jul 20, 2007 09:41 PM

                                    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
                                      sternlight Jul 21, 2007 02:41 AM

                                      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
                                        adevejian Jul 21, 2007 09:08 AM

                                        Zankou is essentially Lebanese, including the garlic sauce.

                                        1. re: sternlight
                                          Savour May 17, 2013 04:11 PM

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

                                2. re: katkoupai
                                  clintonhillbilly May 17, 2013 08:24 AM

                                  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
                                    Ciao Bob May 17, 2013 09:58 AM

                                    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
                                      Mr. Roboto May 17, 2013 01:38 PM

                                      Try this place:

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

                                3. n
                                  nowhereonearth May 17, 2013 12:03 PM

                                  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.

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