photo credit: Lani Conway
Whether it’s your first or 21st time, Tuba makes you feel like a regular. The Turkish spot in the Mission looks like the restaurant equivalent of a “Moderately Upscale Bistro” collection in a Living Spaces showroom—deep red walls, lots of sconces and curvy chandeliers, and charming digital wall art. Friendly servers, who are eager to run you through the signature dishes on their menu of mezzes and big plates, might also compel you to stay until closing (or, at least, ignore the siren song of your half-made bed and stockpiled episodes of a new survivalist show).
The dishes here are comforting and thoughtfully presented. So, naturally, bring a ton of friends, order big, and share it all. Start with any combination of the cold and hot mezze—like the sweet cevizli ezme (crushed walnuts in a tomato and red pepper paste), and deep-fried phyllo rolls loaded with feta and potatoes—before shoveling down the crispy adana kebab, which is wrapped in lavash and sliced, and charred eggplant topped with juicy ground beef. Of course, the big selection of beer or wines, available by the glass and bottle, are simply added perks to what will be a very chill night.
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The mildly spicy dip made of chopped walnuts, and tomato and red pepper paste is one of several cold mezzes on the menu, and is absolutely worth your attention. We welcome the fact that this version is on the sweeter side. Start with this.
Phyllo Rolls (Börek)
Feta cheese and potato stuffed into phyllo dough and then fried? What could go wrong? Nothing. These are perfect.
Phrases that come to mind when we think of this dish: Creamy, meaty, filling, you need this now. Ground beef and lamb kebabs are wrapped in lavash and sliced up. The meat has a nice crusty layer, and the entire dish miraculously doesn’t become soggy after tomato sauce and cooling yogurt are poured on top.
The char on the eggplant makes this whole thing taste like a burning flame—that’s fantastic. The ground beef, tomatoes and onions on top are just the icing on this deeply flavored dish.