Even we sometimes find that our palates have grown weary of rakı and eggplant salad. Lately, when that happens, we’ve been heading over to the Asian side of Istanbul for unique Iranian-Turkish mezes and hearty carafes of Aegean red wine at Şiraz, a tiny meyhane in the Moda neighborhood of Kadıköy.
Opened two years ago by Elahe Eftekharinasr and Ahmet İlter Şenyurt, the miniscule place has seven tables, and a galley-sized open kitchen tucked into the back. A huge chalkboard covers one wall with the day’s offerings, and, if the weather permits, the whole front opens to the street.
“I built this restaurant for her,” says Şenyurt, “I said, ‘You’re the boss; whatever you want, do it.’” Eftekharinasr uses that creative license to serve up surprising and satisfying food inspired by her Iranian roots. She moved to Izmir, on the Turkish Aegean coast, from Iran, when she was eleven. “I learned to cook from my mother,” explains Eftekharinasr, “then I started to read cookbooks and work in restaurants.” We were tipped off about Şiraz by Emir Ali Enç, whose Soy copper pots  are in heavy rotation at the restaurant. You may see him helping out in kitchen sometimes, too.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets .