Located a couple blocks off Istaklal Cadessi, just south of Taksim Square, Medi Sark Sofrasi is a great little local place with a fairly short menu, lots of charm and delicious food.
We sat inside as the sun dipped behind the buildings, the walls covered with hand-sewn handbags, ornaments and other Turkish accoutrements. Cozy sofa seats, big round metal tables and friendly tag-team service provided a really enjoyable dining experience.
We enjoyed a mixed grill, a vegetarian plate (eggplant and rice), a large bottled water and a couple çays for a mere 42TL, and were stuffed. They brought us salsa-esque ezme and that great light puffy bread to start. Each dish had delicious home-made yogurt, and the rice that accompanied each dish was moist, tasty, perfect.
They don't sell alcohol, but the ayran - a yogurt drink - is apparently as good as it gets. With more than three weeks left in our trip, we will definitely head on back and try a couple new things. Five stars, because its a great value, high quality restaurant. Guys - good luck with the Turkish toilet.
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