- Jimbo Mar 28, 2006 05:01 PM
After noticing Troya, a new Turkish restaurant at the corner of 5th and Clement about a month ago and checking the menu about 10 days ago,I finally stopped by with a friend today of lunch. The big draw for me was manti- both beef[sadly, not lamb] and vegie versions- as a regular menu item. La Turka served[s] them once a week and was "out" both times I tried when they first opened. I love manti [similar to tortellini with a yogourt,tomato, garlic, mint sauce] and these [I had the beef ones] were homemade, and the right size,shape and taste evoking nice memories of travels in Turkey and bordering countries. There was a decent sized portion for $9.00 [11.00 for dinner]. The rest of the menu seemed pretty standard [Sis/kebab heavy] but I'll definately return for my manti fix though I wish they'd do lamb ones. They seemed glad for our business and eager to please- but then they've only been open a month. With Burma Superstar at the other end of the block, this has become a block worth finding parking for....
Purely by accident, my wife and I ended up on Clement at lunch time. Walking our bikes up up toward Arguello, we happened on Troya. We got lured in by the advertised $6 wrap and we're glad we were. We both had a different variation on the lamb wrap. Very good. At about 1pm on an Easter Sunday the place was dead, but staff was friendly and helpful. We got a bonus bread and dip (tahini?) that we weren't expecting, but enjoyed nonetheless.
What is sad about Turkish restaurants in the city (A La Turka, Troya, Bursa Kebab...) is that they really don't try hard enough. It can be called Turkish food but that's about it. They all have the same boring dishes, most of them lacking flavor and with the same sloppy presentation. Turkish food can be truly awesome. I have been blown away by a simple rice and bean dish in Istanbul. But in the city, they really don't honor the heritage of the cuisine that set the standards for middle-eastern cuisine. At the height of the Ottoman empire, the sultan had literally 1500 cooks in his kitchen and food was a major part of the culture. Where did it all go?