Lazuri "Café"

Just for you old dogs, a very carefully edit excerpt from my Yelp review. (err copy pasta)

Best Kebab Platter in Boston

Lazuri is what you hope to find as a food critic, overlooked and punching way above its weight class. Prior to the pandemic a place like this would have 50+ reviews, and I’m doing review #16 a couple months after opening. It’s a shame, I’m coming out of Yelp retirement to rectify this. Although Lazuri will cook up just about anything any time of day, I’d skip the pastas and even the fish and chips! on the menu. It is a full spectrum Turkish restaurant, replete with bakery outputting breads for accompanying meals. In fact, I am usually served flat rounds with sun-dried tomato dip as a everyman’s amuse bouche, and everyone loves the pastry sweets. The bakery is ambitious with a detailed pide, think Turkish pizza, menu section. The menu is very long indeed. To call itself a “café” is exceedingly modest, despite its pizza counter and few tables layout. In fact, it took over the basic but cheerful Whole Hearts Provisions space, a place that was ahead of it’s time in terms of healthy Chipotle style food and service. Here’s a tell card: Lazuri does accept reservations. Clue number one, this ain’t no normal café. Yes it does seem family run and the patriarch seems very serious about his craft. So what is this mystery place that tries to be everything to everybody, a sure recipe for failure?

Here’s the thing, Lazuri is genuinely as good as a kebob/shawarma/grilled meat specialist as any other in Boston. I am including Pakistani, Greek, Persian and so on. Lazuri also out does the competition with their titular “Lazuri Special” a massive 2 foot by 3 foot battleship of all their meats, every single one, atop their excellent rice pilaf and bulgur wheat pilaf, with shredded carrots and grilled veggies to make it seemed civilized, but make no mistake this is the best “let’s get our faces greasy” meat fest going right now. The skill in just getting 6 types of meat grilled perfectly simultaneously is actually stunning in itself. It is also the best value at 45 USD currently. It will feed 3 people to their gag reflexes kick in, 4 comfortably. Even if I ate alone, I’d order it just because the leftovers would feed me for days!

I’ve had this twice and you get 3 or 4 lamp chops, which I recommend eating right away. Quite honestly fresh halal lamb chops are extremely tender, juicy, and flavorful without being gamey. Lamb this good would cost you 45 elsewhere alone! Then I would move to the large chicken pieces (It’s basically half a chicken.) while they are hot as well. Just so succulent and you really get the grilled flavor seeping into your entire body, wow. By this time you notice the distinct lack of salt. It is a curious thing and intentional as you will find later on. They’d rather let the meat do the talking. I think a good followup to the grilled chicken is the 4 chicken koftas, chicken meatball in essence. Chicken meatballs are very underrated in my opinion, it’s a standard Japanese Yakitori dish and one of my favorites in Japan and one of my favorites here. It is more differentiated from whole chicken than say hamburger is to steak. By this time you may be getting full, but wait, there’s 2 long lamb (Adana) kebobs to go, absolutely beautiful and delicious, 4 beef patty style kebobs, perfecto, and then in the corners, shawarma, in this case, mixed lamb and beef. This is gut busting and delicious and you won’t regret it for a second, as breathless as you may feel waddling out the door. The shawarma is surprising because it’s heavily salted like it should, while the other meats are very sparingly so. So the perceived lack of salt is intentional. You will also get sides, I choose Chorban Salad every time.

As other yelpers have noted, even the standalone kebob platters are quite a feat to finish in one sitting. But this Lazuri Special, if you can finish with one other person, well, you are champion level eater, my friend.

In contrast to the one one-star reviewer here, the Turkish Tea is just right after a heavy meal like this and I’ve had many a Turkish Tea. Each time I’ve went, and I’ve been several times since they opened, they have gifted me this as well as the bread and sundried tomato paste.

This is a full-service, full spread, not fine dining, yet immensely satisfying Turkish restaurant without alcohol. However it is disguised as a local Boston University area cafe catering to students. Trust me, boomers from the boomerburbs are going to invade this place via SUV, zoomers are gonna dry swallow Uber surge pricing, and millennials are going shamelessly steal to my find after they read my review, so make reservations like I do! You are welcome for the pro-tip!

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Thank you. Sounds amazing. I’ll check it out when I’m able. I eat meat very sparingly and I can’t eat much at one sitting. And, I do like a glass of wine with food like this.
That said, the vegetarian and breakfast options look great.

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Sounds amazing, thank you for sharing!

Thank you, that all sounds great! Lazuri is now on my list, especially for grilled meat and salad season.

I had no idea. Thanks for the tip!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold