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Archive for May, 2011

May 30
Monday

Lokanta Maya: Subtle Surprises

Filed under Reviews (Eats)


(Editor’s Note: This guest post is by Jennifer Hattam, an American journalist living in Beyoğlu whose personal blog can be found here.)

My first encounters with Turkish fish menus were nothing short of perplexing, and not because levrek (sea bass), çupra (sea bream), kalkan (turbot) and the like were such unfamiliar names. Spoiled by a steady stream of exotic preparations back home in San Francisco – baked in red curry, encrusted with wasabi peas, topped by green mango salsa, drenched in oniony, mustardy yassa sauce – I had never put much thought to the fish itself.

I’ve come to better appreciate (and more easily identify) fresh fish cooked simply so that its natural flavors shine through, but though I hate to admit it, there’s still something I find a bit yawn-inducing about yet another whole fish with a squirt of lemon, no matter how expertly prepared.

That’s why my eyes went straight to the caramelized levrek on the menu at Lokanta Maya, without even knowing it was a house favorite. And for good reason. The flavors still aren’t flashy, but the hint of sweet orangey goodness in the crispy part of the skin tantalized portions of my taste buds I’d almost forgotten were there. Continue…


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