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What looks like a fast-food joint from the outside turns out to be an excellent and rather formal restaurant inside, a perfect date spot with its convincing fake fireplace. The ambitious menu takes some time to read--there are 10 lamb entrées alone--and includes plenty of Ottoman stuff you've probably never heard of, like balik kofte (fried torpedoes of minced fish). The iskender kebab is heartily recommended: cubes of buttered pita bread topped with slices of doner kebab sauced with tomato and yogurt. There's even a section of vegetarian entrées, rare in a Turkish restaurant.
Most Ottoman restaurants fall into one of two categories: fast-food kebab shack or sit-down fancy place. Ali Baba bridges the gap. Visit the front of the restaurant for casual dining and carryout, where you can get a fiery ezme salad on a pita, or pizza-style pides festooned with ground lamb, Turkish pastrami, feta, or potatoes. Or venture further inside to the starchy formal dining room--a perfect date spot--and enjoy lamb, lamb, and more lamb, from a list that runs to... More »
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