★★★ Yes, this is a Turkish Restaurant... and "Bar Lounge" located on busy 18th Street in the center of Adams Morgan. The staff verbally assured me that the entire menu is halal (though confused by the term zabihah, the Turkish waiter described it as hand slaughtered), but presumably excluding the giant wall of alcohol (some of which sneaks into a few of the dishes). This is absolutely not the place to bring your family, but it might be one of the few full-service halal-meat serving restaurants in DC open past midnight.Otherwise, the menu is standard Turkish. Parking here is super-tight and with all the drunken fools around (probably some from this restaurant), you should leave the 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 at home, avoiding any unintended time travel. Try parking on Columbia Rd NW, driving northeast will get you a spot.
So the Baba Ghanouj ($7) is pretty decent, especially paired with their hot, freshly-made bread. This author had some kind of decent chicken dish, none so memorable he has thought about it again, and one that is not on the online menu. The Mojito Classico mocktail (mint, lime, and sugar -- without alcohol) is refreshingly sweet and sour, like a good mint lemonade. The Istanbul Burger ($15) is a hamburger made with a patty from ground beef kabab (similar to a Pakistani "bun" kabab), and is an interesting if subtle take on a how a hamburger should be seasoned (it's time to collectively move beyond just salt and pepper). The french fries with the Istanbul Burger are actually perfect -- crispy on the outside, a bit chewy on the inside and deserve a spot on the menu alone.
Overall 4 stars for the food, minus 1 for the alcohol (really should be minus 2 here), leaving 3 out of 5 stars. Were it not for the overwhelming alcohol, this author would return for the fries alone. Posted on July 21, 2018