New Anatolia Mediterranean Grill | Westwood, CA

New Anatolia brings Turkish cuisine to Westwood

Los Angeles's dearth of Turkish restaurants is over.

Ankara native Eren Bulut, an engineering grad student at Cal State-Northridge, opened New Anatolia Mediterranean Grill in December, with Istanbul native Bulent Colak helming the open kitchen.

The rare L.A. Turkish restaurant has two spits twirling spice-slathered shawarma, but New Anatolia also offers more interesting and even daring options. Case in point: the Kelle Pacha soup ($8.50), a funky mélange of lamb that includes shredded shank, cheek, neck, eye and even brain. You can add a spoonful of garlicky vinegar to cut the gaminess, but heed our server's warning: "Afterward, don't go in a public area for seventy-two hours."

Anatolia Special Kebab ($13) stars layered eggplant and beef topped with yogurt and tomato sauce, while the Mix Anatolia Kebab (pictured; $20) combines almost every other meaty possibility. The platter of various kebabs, juicy ground-beef adana and loosely packed ground-lamb kofte is perfect for sharing.

Not every dish at New Anatolia requires sharp incisors. The Mix Veggie plate ($8) features tastes of seven dishes that would make a vegetarian swoon, including crisp-sheathed "cigars" filled with tangy feta, a spiced tomato dip called ezme, and golden falafel.

You could say Bulut engineered the plate for success.

New Anatolia Mediterranean Grill, 1942 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; 310-446-0055