In the Mills50 district area, the Asian restaurants are great but what about other cuisines? Located on Mills Ave, Atilla's Steak & Salad features sandwiches, salads, steaks, pizza and Turkish cuisine. I have past it many times but it never stood out to me. Since it is located close to work, it was a good opportunity to try this restaurant out. Outdoor seating is available and the dining room itself isn't very big. What was big, was the friendly service. The servers were very pleasant, prompt and helpful with the menu.
The decor inside was very clean looking, a few decorations here and there on the wall but nothing exciting. The silence in the restaurant was very apparent, some background music would have been appreciated. As I had mentioned before, there was pizza listed on the menu but only cheese or Mediterranean. Not much options as far as that goes. That's ok, I didn't come here for the pizza instead I wanted to see how good this "Turkish cuisine" is. The Adana Kebab and the Kofte stuck out to me. The Adana Kebab is the spicy meatloaf. Spicy, they say? Let's see about that. Whichever dish shall I choose? The options, the options... Well, luckily they have a mix and match option which definitely works for me! The spicy meatloaf it is and the kofte (grilled meatballs). The Turkish entrees come with your choice of a side item (side salad, shepherd salad, eggplant dip salad, spinach dip salad, potato salad, black-eye bean salad, french fries, mashed potato). That's quite a bit of side items there.
The eggplant dip salad sounded good. I automatically thought it was going to be baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is a wonderful eggplant dip dish that had cooked eggplant mashed with olive oil and seasonings. It's very similar to hummus but made with eggplant instead. This eggplant dip salad (Patlican Ezme) was more yogurt based. It wasn't bad at all, just definitely not what I expected. They ought to call it a yogurt dip. The eggplant flavor didn't come through as much as I had hoped. The two little pitas were cute though. The spinach dip salad (Ispanak Ezme) was yogurt based as well. At least the spinach flavor was more prevalent. I definitely could have used more garlic as well. Both dishes are served cold and I recommend you save some of the dip for the actual entree.
It didn't take long before my meal arrived, it smelled amazing! I'm ready to chow down! The Kofte (grilled meatballs) typically have herbs and other various seasonings mixed in with the meat. It was bland for me. The texture wasn't overdone but the flavor was lacking. The spicy meatloaf was actually spicy. You could see the red pepper flakes in it, and it wasn't too spicy. The heat was a good amount that you could feel it but didn't have the sweating or the runny nose. I really should have just ordered the Adana Kebab. The grilled peppers and tomatoes were a tasty addiction. The red onions can be a bit strong for some but if you love onions then you'll definitely enjoy these. Raw onions with dill, parsley and some other spices added some more textures to the dish. The bulgur pilav is a pilaf dish similar to couscous/quinoa. It's got a little bit of a firm yet fluffy texture. And beneath all the meat is my pita bread. Oh yeah, about that...
All in all, I enjoyed my meal and left full. I didn't even get a chance to order any dessert. Aside from the bland meatballs, I'll be back here. Who knew this little spot would have been so good? Check this place out and remember to save your dip for the meat.
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