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Troya -- SO much better than I remembered

Looking for a place to meet up with out of town friends for dinner before Andy Irvine concert at the Plough and Stars last night, I suggested Troya. I'd been there once before, about 6 months after they first opened and while I remember having a pleasant enough experience, I'd not been back. After this trip, however, I'll definitely be making it a regular stop when I'm on that side of SF.

Three of us shared a couple rounds of mezze as well as an order of the lamb beyti, which was definitely one of the better renditions of that dish, which is adana style lamb kabob wrapped in lavash and served with a tomato yogurt sauce. We also quite enjoyed a special mezze of beef stuffed eggplant, and lovely fresh grilled sardine filets on a bit of salad greens. The thick yogurt dip with carrots was also very good, as a slightly different variation on the usual turkish yogurt dip.

But the truly outstanding mezze -- so good in the first order, we had to have a second -- was an unusual take on lamb stuffed grape leaves. Unlike every version I've had in the past, these four dolmas contained no rice or ground meat. Instead they were stuffed with long cooked, shredded lamb (like a lamb version of pulled pork) seasoned with currants, pinenuts and (I think) allspice. The stuffed grape leaves were then lightly grilled, which added a slight smoky flavor, and then drizzled with a small amount of tahini sauce. Fabulous.

The only thing we ordered that was just so-so was the borek -- in this case two sizable, fat triangles filled with spinach, pine nuts and feta. A bit dry, I've had better.

Monday through Thursday, they are offering a mezze "happy hour" from 5-7 where all mezze are $5, along with certain of their wines. The wine by the glass selections were servicable for fairly ordinary; the bottle list was longer and more interesting.

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Troya
349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

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  1. Troya took a big step up after they hired Randy Gannaway as chef.

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    Troya
    349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Interesting that Troya came up on the boards. I was just comparing it to Tuba, where I dined on Friday night, and was underwhelmed, esp. with one dish I've tried at both places, the Manti dumplings. Service and decor is nice, but the food was meh. Troya is a better choice.

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      Troya
      349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    2. I thought the dolmas at Troya were as good or better than any I've ever had.

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      Troya
      349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

      1. the borek was good tonight; not dry, plump with the spinach pine nut filling. we also enjoyed the manti, the Monterey Bay sardines, the grilled halumi, a skewer of lamb kabob cooked perfectly medium-rare and the almond pudding for dessert. food and service: delightful

        1. I definitely agree. We recently went to Troya with a large group and did a pre-fixe menu that came out to $25/person. Every dish was flavorful and tasty and there were a LOT of dishes. The service was excellent and we were all very happy when we saw the bill. I feel like for a group dinner Troya is one of those SF "best kept secrets" restaurants.

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          Troya
          349 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

          2 Replies
          1. re: shellshock24

            Yup, that prix-fixe deal was fantastic. More food than any single person could (well, should) eat. You get a great representation of the entire menu, I'd heartily recommend it for any group outing.

            1. re: shellshock24

              Thanks for this fantastic idea. I went for lunch recently and loved all the mezes. My favorite was the thick yogurt served with pita, but food was uniformly tasty, beautifully prepared, and well-spiced. Service was friendly, the meal was well-paced, and I hope they continue to do well

            2. I also loved the stuffed grapeleaves, as well as lamb kabob...The Mousakka is "Greek" style and also very good. nice place, nice people...and they are open for lunch!