Day 84: Turkey
The holiday craziness continues. My brother is in town, my friends have an extra long weekend coming up and I’m trying to do any kitchen prep I can before we host ten or so guests tomorrow. GirlfriendBites thought it would be particularly funny to have “Turkey” be the country that would be up on the website while Thanksgiving is happening, so on Turkey Day’s Eve, Man Bites World is having it’s own version of Turkey Day right here.
Luckily, there’s a Turkish restaurant really close to my house that’s supposed to be pretty darn good. It was very well regarded at its previous location in the Westside Pavilion food court, but since that whole building has been redone, they’ve moved down to Culver City. I’m joined for lunch today, amazingly, by eight other people. The restaurant is even attached to a great halal market (with good meat and produce), which I’m now going to be visiting a lot. My group takes turns ordering, and I’m disappointed to find that they’re out of their two Turkish specialties: kuru fasulye and karni yarik. I’m not sure exactly what they are, but ask what would be another good option for a typical Turkish meal, hoping the guy behind the counter won’t say “kabab plate”, which is a dish I’ve had far too much of lately. Luckily, he says “You should get the sultan kabab plate.” Awesome. Oh, no, wait. That is a kabab plate.
Eventually, we’re all seated outside with our food and I make my rounds, sampling everyone’s choices. It’s pretty standard fare, with a lot of kabab, wraps, sandwiches, salads and hummus. But there are some notable exceptions, in the form of beef stuffed eggplant, veggie stuffed peppers and a particularly tasty bean salad. In fact, the food here, which they refer to as “kabab express”, is all pretty good. Very little stands out as being off-the-charts spectacular, but it’s a great, simple meal option. The one knock on the place, which is a constant complaint of mine at most Middle Eastern restaurants, is that sandwiches and wraps always come with lots of great sauces to balance the food out, while the plates leave you craving some kind of condiment. But we all kick back, chat and enjoy each other’s company long after we’re done eating. Then everybody (who’s cooking tomorrow, anyway) realizes that it’s the day before Thanksgiving and there’s a ton of crap to get done. So we all start giving goodbye hugs, while I try to decide whether or not I want to start searing turkey neck and making stock tonight, or just get it done on the day. Regardless, with GFB and I hosting our first ever Thanksgiving, and our families joining in, tomorrow should be pretty interesting. Vodka? Check.
Sofra Kabab Express
10821 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Food Breakdown: 4 non-alcoholic beverage, 9 entrées
Price: $15 (for just the sultan kabab plate)
Distance From My House: 1.2 miles