Koftegi Iskender (Food of the Week)

Turkish Food Anaheim

Iskender is a regional Turkish specialty starring shaved döner.

Mehmet Kaplan and wife/partner Lisa Matarazzo took Al Sanabel Bakery into a higher gear when they took over the beloved Little Arabia cafe and added Koftegi to the space. Kaplan is from Cappadocia and spent his formative years in Istanbul, becoming a chef and culinary tour guide. Koftegi adds flavorful Turkish dishes to a deep roster of flatbreads.

Döner is a great choice, featuring 70/30 blend of beef chuck and lamb shoulder and a 48-hour marinade that includes onion, milk, and yogurt juice, resulting in tender results with deep flavor. Staffers shave the döner from a vertical spit, which stars in a variety of dishes. I’d highly recommend Iskender ($14.99), a regional Turkish preparation. At Koftegi, Kaplan plates a healthy pile of meat on a bed of supple toasted, house-baked pita that soaks up jus, browned butter, and zesty tomato sauce. Each plate includes a tangy, cooling lake of yogurt that counterbalances the rich Iskender.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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