Urfa Bistro brings authentic Turkish food to Los Altos | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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Urfa Bistro brings authentic Turkish food to Los Altos

Uploaded: Dec 17, 2015
Zubi Duygu, a native of Turkey, opened Urfa Bistro in late November with the goal of bringing the best culinary elements of his home country to State Street in Los Altos.

The restaurant is named after Urfa, a city in south-eastern Turkey known for what’s called the Urfa biber, or Isot pepper -- a red chile pepper that is traditionally picked, dried out under the sun and then "sweated" at night (covered in fabric or plastic) before being crushed or ground up. Needless to say, it appears in many dishes of the region, and at Urfa Bistro in Los Altos as well.

Urfa is also "deeply rooted in history, so its unique cuisine is an amalgamation of the cuisines of the many civilizations that have ruled in Urfa," the restaurant’s website reads. "Dishes carry names in Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Syrian, and Turkish, and are often prepared in a spicy manner."

Duygu has been in the food industry almost his entire life, from when he was 12 years old in Turkey to opening a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Burlingame in 2001. He went on to open restaurants in San Francisco and Berkeley before making the move to Los Altos. (He said he’s always wanted to open a restaurant in Silicon Valley.) He teamed up with his brother, Memet Duygu, to open the Los Altos restaurant; Memet is Urfa Bistro’s chef.

The menu includes items like oven-roasted lamb ribs served with garlic-yogurt sauce and pita; red lentil soup; chicken, lamb, falafel, salmon, beef and vegetable wraps; moussaka (layers of eggplant, potato and ground beef topped with béchamel sauce and served over rice), among others. A signature dish, Zubi said, is the beyti kebab: ground lamb and beef wrapped in lavash bread, then sliced into pieces and topped with tomato sauce, clarified butter (a traditional Urfa ingredient made from sheep’s milk) and yogurt. View the full menu here.

Most of the wine and beer options are also mostly from Turkey, Zubi said.

The space Zubi and Memet took over at 233 State St. space was formerly occupied by another Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant, Village Kebab.

Urfa Bistro soft opened on Nov. 17 and is planning to ramp up to a full opening in early January, Zubi said. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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 +   4 people like this
Posted by Jeff Rensch, a resident of Barron Park,
on Dec 18, 2015 at 10:36 am

Love your blog! Always hungry

 +   8 people like this
Posted by Matt, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Dec 19, 2015 at 1:46 am

We dined in for dinner everything was great
We will definitely go back great addition to Los Altos

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nur, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills,
on Dec 21, 2015 at 12:01 am

Although we are vegans, we could find plenty to eat once we were over with the agony of going through the menu that included items like "calf's liver" (tears -- baby cow taken away from mom then killed and its liver is chopped as the mother is grieving for the lost baby--cows grieve for their babies for a long time), "lamb rib" (more tears thinking of a baby lamb crying for her mother on her way to the slaughter truck)....

We ordered grilled veggie wrap, lentil soup and Greek salad. Everything was fresh and delicious. We got lucky and no one in nearby tables ate anything that came from dead baby animals which made our meal even more enjoyable. Everyone working at the restaurant was very friendly and the service was excellent. We will go there again hoping may be they don't offer baby animals and more vegetable dishes that the Turkish cuisine has plenty.

 +   4 people like this
Posted by James, a resident of another community,
on Dec 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

And to contrast Nur's remarks, I found all the meat dishes delectable and felt no ill pangs about eating every bite. I'm sorry it was so sad for Nur though.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Dec 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Gosh, I'm happy to hear that Nur can make it our the door to a restaurant because there really is so much cruelty in the world. Of course, there's cruelty in our items at home, too, even if they're vegan.

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