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
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