photo credit: Lokma
Some restaurants are pretty much made for perfectly cute, chill dates. Lokma is one of them. The California-inspired Turkish spot—and older sibling of fine dining restaurant Taksim—is as charming as they come. Located in the Outer Richmond, it feels like a homey den with brick walls and window sills that are filled with a hodgepodge of found glass, bird feeders, and plants in mismatched pots. Grab a seat by the window overlooking this unhurried part of the town and drink some wine while you wait for your notoriously late dining companion to arrive.
Lokma’s small shareables and big plates are the comfort dishes you want to have while fielding softball questions about your day. Two highlights are the bowl of manti stuffed with ground lamb and the fresh calamari over pearl couscous, both topped with a rich tomato butter sauce. There are really no bad choices when it comes to the rest of the menu, but you could order the sweet clotted cream drizzled in honey, served with pita, or the perfectly grilled lamb kofte and keep the night moving.
For day dates, Lokma transforms into a bright brunch spot with excellent greek yogurt pancakes, lamb burgers, and a two-person Turkish breakfast spread of olives, scrambled eggs, cured meats, and feta. Regardless of when you make it here, the charm of this date spot will always draw you in.
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This bowl of tiny lamb-stuffed dumplings are slathered in garlic yogurt and tomato butter sauce. You need this.
Grilled Lamb Kofte
The koftes are well-seasoned and perfectly grilled, while the chickpea salad is an herby dream. There is no going wrong with this starter.
Lokma is a comfort spot, so embrace this stuffed eggplant dish. Their rendition is loaded with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and the whole thing sits over fluffy saffron rice. We wish the meat had slightly more depth of flavor, and we wanted more char on the eggplant. An enjoyable dish regardless.
A friend’s questionably passive aggressive text got you down? You need this comfort dish. The saucy tomato butter makes this bowl of pearl couscous and fresh calamari. Chopped pistachios add nice earthiness to it.