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Mar 20, 2009 09:20 AM

Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival April 2-5th?

Sorry if this has been mentioned, but until search is fixed, if ever, all I did was a quick scroll of the LA board and didn't see anything.

I was in a Turkish restaurant in SF and picked up a card about this. I'm thinking maybe it might be good if they are spreading the word this far north.

The website doesn't give a whole lot of useful info.

Howerever there is supposed to be lots of "delicious foods" from Turkey. Not sure if this is a yearly thing or a first time thing. If it was in SF I'd probably consider going. Just thought I'd pass it along. Don't know the Turkish food situation in the LA area.

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  1. I miss Turkey, especially the food! Here in SoCal, there are no Turkish restaurants at least that my ex-husband and I could find (he's Turkish); there are Persian and Armenian, but to find some Iskander, Doner, Manti - ugh! I miss it!

    Thanks for sharing this link. I will be out of the country until the 4th, but I am heading to it on the 5th! Can't wait....

    Thanks again rworange!

    20 Replies
    1. re: truetraveler

      There's a Turkish place called Doner G in Anaheim, on Ball Road near State College Blvd. They have Iskender kebab and Doner, but I don't think they have Manti. They often don't bother to make the stews on the menu, so call ahead before driving down if you have your heart set.

      Doner G
      2139 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Excited to know there is one...
        Why didn't I find this before?
        Thanks to all of you!

      2. re: truetraveler

        There is a Turkish restaurant in Reseda called Sako's Mediterranean. They have Iskender and you can see a picture of their version on the following Blog review:

        1. re: JBC

          sako's is probably the only one, and it's pretty darn good too, though not amazing, the inventers of the iskender kabab aka shwarma aka gyro.

          1. re: JBC

            Thanks for the information; will check it out!

              1. re: truetraveler

                And Sako's is not serving Manti (scroll down Home {first} page):


            1. re: truetraveler

              There is Turkish food at Sofra Kabab Express that is good. It hit the spot when I was craving a döner and my turkish friends like it. They have iskander, döner, borek (but no borek sucuk). I recommend people check it out.

              Sofra Kabab Express
              10821 Venice Boulveard, Los Angeles, CA, 90034

              1. re: joshekg

                Thanks for the information!
                I can't wait to go!
                I've learned to make some of the stuff, but a good Iskander and Doner and borek I miss...

                1. re: truetraveler

                  Yeah, I enjoyed Sofra a lot. Really casual, and I love the market that's attached to it (though, technically owned by someone else). Their meat department is absurdly cheap.

                  1. re: noahbites

                    Noah, after following your "Man Bites World," adventures, I've found that a lot of your likes and my likes for food seem to intersect. Do you recall what you liked at Sofra? My wife spent some time in Turkey and really enjoyed the food there. I'm just wondering what would be good to order when we go. TIA!

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      I recall the food being fairly solid across the board, but that a lot of the sandwiches lacked some kind of condiment or moisture (a problem easily rectified with a side order and some self-dressing).

                      The best stuff there, from what I've heard, are the kuru fasulye and karni yarik, their Turkish specialties which, unfortunately, they were out of when I went.

                      In all honesty, I think part of what I liked so much about that place was that I was about 80-something days into the project, it was the day before Thanksgiving, and there was a reputable Turkish place about fifteen blocks from my house.

                      1. re: noahbites

                        Noah, thanks for your recs. We just got back and I missed your info but we enjoyed the food there. We did try the karni yarik which was nicely seasoned. I'm looking over the menu and I didn't see the kuru fasulye.

                        The falafel were freshly fried with a firm slightly crisp texture. I was popping these in my mouth throughout our dinner and they held up their texture from beginning to end. We received three small side dishes of tzatziki and one of hummus - don't know which came with our order, but both went well with it.

                        Our kids ordered the kebab sandwiches - chicken doner and beef kabab.
                        The chicken was well-seasoned but a little dry - a little tzatziki helped that. The beef kabab was fine as is. These come with a side of fries that are seasoned with (I think) seasoning salt. The fries actually weren't bad at all.

                        Being my piggy self, I ordered the Sofra kabab combo plate. This came with a lamb doner, chicken doner, and a few chunks each of lamb, chicken adana and beef kabab. A huge serving of rice pilaf, green salad, grilled tomato and a grilled banana pepper come with it and are served on a medium-size platter. The lamb doner was juicy and well spiced. The chunks of lamb and beef were good, but I think I'd steer clear of both chicken dishes next time. The grilling really sucks the moisture out of them. But if you prefer chicken, (as you already mentioned) a little sauce of any sort goes a long way.

                        My wife ordered the lamb kabab plate, which was the same as mine - six cubes of lamb with the same sides. The lamb was quite tender, just enough game for flavor, and well seasoned.

                        The plates and sandwiches are a lot of food. I'm rapping on my tummy and it's making a good solid "thump" noise - it's full. The kitchen does a good job in general on the grill and the fryer. And something to keep in mind if you return. The regular customers ask for a small bowl of "spicy sauce." We didn't hear about this until we were just about done. So in case you didn't hear about this, and you want a little more kick in you dishes, ask for that - it's gratis. Thanks again for chiming in on Sofra, and thank you joshekg for bringing up Sofra in the first place.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          PS - I don't know diddly about what Turkish food should be or taste like but if this is a reasonable example, then I'm liking it.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            This actually turned into an interesting thread. Even though I live in the SF Bay Area, it's interesting to read what Turkish food is available in LA especially since my recent donar kebab crawl in my kneck of the woods. I didn't know too much about Turkish Food either, but I liked a lot of what I tried.

                            One thing I learned is to ask for pide rather than lavosh when ordering Turkish doners. So many places make great pide up this way.

                            Hope if anyone goes to the festival that they report back.

                            Sofra Kabob Express
                            10821 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                            1. re: rworange

                              I'm glad you started this post. I've met a number of people who are from Turkey - really some of the nicest people who exude warmth in their conversation. But the (I'm assuming) "closet" Turkish eateries in the SoCal area makes it hard to figure out who is actually serving Turkish dishes, aside from the more common Mediterranean/Middle East dishes like doner-type meats, kebabs (kababs), falafals, etc. The socio-political baggage that Turkish expats must carry on behalf of many generations removed is killing their ability to show others their culture - mainly by food, like so many others that have come here.

                              We enjoyed the food, and my wife - she actually didn't remember much about her eating experiences in Istanbul - so much for waxing nostalgic in her past - wants to try more of their meze and any truly Turkish dishes the next time. Thanks again...

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                Nice report! You did a better job diving into their menu than I did on my previous journey.

                                As for the authentic cuisine vs. kabob thing-- I encountered that a lot during Man Bites World, where I'd go to places supposedly representative of a certain country, ask for what's authentic, and they would almost always just say "kabob plate.". But as "hrhboo" once pointed out to me, kabob is essentially Middle Eastern fast food. So it's something that they can produce quickly, as opposed to a lot of slow cooked traditional dishes that would be a lot harder to manage in a restaurant/business setting. Essentially, it's authentic, but in the same way that people in another country could go to tons of "American restaurants" and have everyone always tell them to get the hamburger.

                                1. re: noahbites

                                  well,l there are kebaps and kebaps. kebabci in Turkey sell a variety of kebaps. Just as if you order Bo:rek there are at least a dozen varieties.

                                  If there were a place where it would be easy to find Hunkar Begendi, i'd be there. BUt places like Serra in Studio City or Sako's will provide Kebap. As will the Persian places (dont go today, Nowruz - too crowded) - all kinds of polo dishes which can be served with a kebab, put the star there is the rice preparation.

                                  1. re: noahbites

                                    Thanks, but when you have four starving mouthes to feed, you order a lot of food. :) Thanks again for your thoughts on Sofra!

              2. Very kind of you to post. Thanks.

                1. There are billboards about this all over town, or at least slots on those awful new electronic billboards. Weird numbers of billboards. Hundreds.

                  1. rw, aren't usually on the SF boards? good to hear from you.

                    i was wondering the similar thing, had no clue that Anatolian is Turkish.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kevin

                      I'm guessing with the large Armenian population in SoCal, these electronic billboards wouldn't be left standing if the word, "Turkish," was emblazoned across these eyesores.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        I was not gonna bring it up, but................................................

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          i get what you're saying in the same way that there is the lamajun and a different pronunciation/spelling if it is armenian or turkish.

                          i guess from burger boy's post it's Lamajun in Armenian? What's the word for the minced lamb and tomato pizza in Turkish?

                    2. You can buy Monti from LA's Best Armenian Bakery, for Lahmajune anyway. Partamian's

                      Partamian Bakery
                      5410 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        alright it's settled, i'm visiting the joint on adams tomorrow. Suffice to say, it'll be hard if I have to pass by JnJ Rib Joint on Adams too. Oh, well, what can you do? I can probably create a tasting menu just rolling on Adams.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Go to JnJ and get a hot link & egg sandwich and some BBQ, smoked wings, ribs, brisket and sides to go. Head over to Partamian's and get a dozen Lahmajune and some frozen monti and some of the straight string cheese. Head home and knap, have some lahmajune and salad for dinner with a beer, go to sleep. Next day warm up some BBQ and make some ggs for breakfast. Repeat 2 more times, go to bed. Eat leftovers for lunch on Monday. I forgot about the Monti, warm 1 layer in a little chicken broth in a roasting pan.Browne 2 or 3 onions thinly sliced. Mix some fresh garlic with some good yogurt. place monti on bottom of soup plate, put onions on top and put garlic yogurt on top.

                          1. re: Burger Boy

                            why don't i just eat all in one sitting.

                            what's a filling meal for a regular person? three or four lamajune (if i remember correctly these are like a $1.50 or so, so it can't be that big? right) and a soda.

                            1. re: kevin

                              When I get sphiha, two and a small salad is plenty for me, and I'm a big guy.