Noosh soft opening

One of our favorite meals last year was at The Istanbul modern pop-up in SF. You can read my review here:

The Chef couple in-charge, Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz, are opening up a brick and mortar restaurant named Noosh on Fillmore. They are super nice, super amazing chefs. The cuisine is eastern Mediterranean. We have eagerly been anticipating it’s opening. On Monday we went for a soft opening of the lunch service. The restaurant is set to open in the beginning of April. The restaurant will consist of two restaurants: a more casual place which is opening first and at a later date a more upscale place next door. The soft opening was for the more casual restaurant.

The format of the restaurant is a bit unusual. The way it works is that you give them a credit card and order before you are seated to expedite the experience. Once you sit you still can order more things. The idea is to move people along smoothly.

Here is the menu:

We were very impressed with the food we tried and are anxious to return once it’s open. Here is what we ate:

Muhammara- this is a nut and red pepper spread usually made with walnuts. The version here is made with almonds and Urfa chili. It was excellent with a deep earthy and warm flavor from the Urfa (an excellent red pepper from Turkey). There was a hint of sweetness perhaps from Pomegranate molasses.

Grilled house made halumi skewers with Szechuan rose honey. This was maybe my favorite dish of the meal. Halumi is a Greek cheese. It can sometimes have a squeaky texture on your teeth that i find unpleasant. The Noosh halumi is made in-house and has a smooth more creamy texture. It was outstanding. Paired with the Szechuan rose honey (don’t know if they make it but if they do they could bottle and sell this stuff it’s so good) it was simple, transcendent and sublime at the same time.

“Greek-po’boy” fried calamari served in a pita bread with tzatziki, pickled onions, arugula, mint and parsley. I joked to the server that I had to order this because I am in-fact a Greek po-boy. Overall excellent! Great contrast of crunchy calamari, creamy tzatziki, tart onions and satisfying herbs.

Pork soujouk flatbread with fried egg. Soujouki is a kind of Turkish sausage. My grandparents would make it growing up. This dish was excellent overall, the flavor of the soujouk was spot on, but I felt like it was a bit off in terms of how long it will cooked. Had the flat bread slightly more cooked and toasty and the egg just slightly less runny it would have been amazing.

We were overall very impressed with our meal and the flavors is we tasted. Noosh is an authentic taste of the eastern Mediterranean and one you won’t find anywhere else in the bay area. We highly recommend it and are anxious to go back when it opens in April.



Terrific review. Thank you for posting it.

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Excellent! Thanks for sharing! I had wanted to go to Istanbul Modern, but never managed to go because the format didn’t work for kids. But I sure will go now.

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Nice lunch here, would definitely return.

Homemade berry shrub: nice and refreshing shrub mixed with sparkling water, compostable hay straw.

Warm babaganoosh with kasseri cheese: nice and smoky but a little bland, needed some salt. I thought they were a little skimpy giving half a pita with it. The pitas are very good, pillowy, warm but not made to order.

Greek Po-Boy: excellent, fried calamari, tzatziki, pickled onions, arugula, mint. Asked for some hot sauce and they gave us some homemade harissa with a nice habanero kick.

Assorted skewers: Lamb, chicken, sunchoke, cheese, pork. All were excellent with varied accompaniments for each. All the meats are cooked sous vide then grilled so were all quite tender.

Hit up B. Patisserie for a passion fruit bostock and kouign amann for dessert.


Thanks for the review(s.) Was anyone able to see their grill and if so are they using charcoal or gas?

I only saw the wood oven, didn’t notice the grill

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Since they don’t have reservations for dinner, is the wait long?

I was only there for lunch but it was a short wait, 5 minutes maybe. It doesn’t seem like a menu where people are sitting for long dinners

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We went on a Saturday evening and enjoyed the meal as well.

The red pepper muhammara with almonds. At once savory and sweet. Excellent just like what @geo12the said. Highlight of the meal for me. Came with a half pita.

Lamb meatballs- decent and tender.

Falafels. Done very well. My wife commented that the quality was up there along with Belmont’s Mediterranean Delite. That version was made from scratch with whole chickpeas.

The lamb kabob was grilled very tender and seasoned well.

The lamb flatbread was I thought the only miss of the meal. The lamb was very oversalted (maybe intentional?) and made for a rather unbalanced dish.

The spice road crispy potatoes came with harissa. The harissa was the highlight:

The Noosh mule was very enjoyable- coolness from the combo cardamom and vodka.

The side of pita (half), while hearty, thick and good, was quite pricey at $3 each though.

Definitely happy to go back and try more dishes. When we got there Saturday around 6pm, there was a couple of groups ahead of us waiting.

Drinks menu:

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The episodes and the lawsuit described in the article are so surreal…

What a bummer

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