When travel and food writers (yeah, I’m both) hate to write about a place or a restaurant, it’s usually because we think … It’s just perfect the way it is. God, I hate to spoil things by telling the world about it.
Though I think Troya is a splendid San Francisco restaurant, that’s not why I hate to write about it.
Why I hate to tell the world about Troya is because that’s where we go to watch Golden State Warriors play basketball. We grab the last two seats at the counter, the ones closest to the TV, order our first course and a glass of Talbot pinot noir, and start cheering/groaning/high-fiving/weeping — all the stages of grief and relief that Warriors’ fans experience in nearly every game.
I don’t want to tell the world about Troya because I don’t want you to take our seats.
But responsibility calls. Troya, in the beating heart of San Francisco’s Fillmore Street, is a Turkish-Mediterranean delight. The wait-staff are friendly, smart and food-wise. The room is quiet (except for our groans and hand-slaps) enough for real conversation. The prices are San Francisco reasonable. The dishes are generously sized and perfectly seasoned. And the desserts … we’ll come to the desserts.
But start with the Turkish trio dips: hummus, yogurt, and red pepper, ($18). If you’re alone, choose one for $7; with the accompanying pita, this is one filling starter.
For mains, I like the harissa spiced meatballs ($18) and Effin loves the vegetable moussaka ($17.50).
As for desserts, at most Mediterranean or Turkish or Middle Eastern restaurants, I avoid them; they’re too sweet for my palate. At Troya, they’re a knockout. The kunefe is a warm, baked, sweet and cheesy pastry big enough for two or more. Ditto the sutlac, a Turkish rice pudding. It comes sprinkled with cinnamon and almonds. They’re each $9. And aromatically delicious.
Troya: 2125 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. Sunday-Thursday 11a.m.-9:30 p.m.Friday & Saturday open till 10 p.m. https://www.troyasf.comand 415 563-1000