Kobani Mediterranean Grill CLOSED 1901 University Ave./Martin Luther King Jr. Way, (510) 529-4884. L-D daily; $.
Named proudly for a 100-year-old Kurdish-populated city in northern Syria that is famous for its olive-oil, this restaurant also makes a nod to Kurdish culture in its logo with a golden sun that suggests rebirth.
So it isn’t a big surprise to discover that owner Emin Tekin is of Kurdish heritage. And though in Turkey Kurds make up 20% of the population yet there is not even one Kurdish restaurant, here in the Bay Area there are few Kurds but several Kurdish restaurants. Place your order at the counter and then take a seat at one of the eight tables, some of which have a banquette with atmospheric oriental rugs and cushions backing against the windows.
The Mediterranean menu is extensive. Red lentil soup is a tasty starter.
Follow it with a mezze platter featuring smooth hummus, smoky babaganoush, falafel, dolmas, kalamat olives, feta cheese, couscous, and Mast o Sir (a refreshing yogurt sauce with shredded cucumber, fresh dill, and a bit of garlic).
Or perhaps you’d prefer a chicken gyro plate with salad, a vegetable-dotted rice pilaf, tomato bulgar, housemade bread, and Mast o Sir. Many variations are available, plus kebabs, vegetarian moussaka, spanakopita, lavash-wrapped gyros, sandwiches, an arugula-beet-goat cheese salad with pomegranate dressing, and a Mediterranean burger. If you like some heat, be sure to request their tasty hot sauce.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers