Tuesday, July 21, 2009

L'ola Lokantasi (Restaurant)

As promised in some of my email correspondence, I will now show you where I am working. The name of the restaurant is L'ola and it is a Spanish-Mediterranean fusion restaurant. The Turkish chefs dance about with castanets and throw olives at each other, and the staff sings merry tunes of Gibraltar (all jokes). The restaurant uses ample amounts of Saffron in their flagship dishes such as calamari in a saffron butter sauce, seafood paella, paella marinara, and others. Saffron originated from the Iberian peninsula, so it is aptly used in the restaurant's Spanish dishes. To the left is an image of the restaurant's typical tapas platter which consists of the following crostinis:
1) eggplant
2) blue cheese and walnut
3) salmon with dill soft cheese and capers
4) pastirma with parmesan
5) avacado and shrimp
6) roast beef with pine nuts and pomegranate sauce
7) tomato and chili spread with parmesan
8) dill octopus salad
9) a salty fish which I can't remember right now, but I'll update

Behind the tapas platter are two dishes. One is calamari in a saffron butter sauce and the other is shrimp in a Mediterranean tomato sauce.

Here is a video that I shot of one of the Chefs making a seafood paella marinara (his name is Niyazi):

So as you can see, above, I work in a smallish kitchen beneath a boutique hotel called Villa Denise. Niyazi speaks English pretty well, so we work things out so that I can learn from him. He is, succinctly, very chill. We hang out in the kitchen together and we are very good friends now. He is very excited, because he just left for vacation. The other two guys I work with are Cem, the other chef, and Mustafa, who helps around the kitchen and washes dishes. Cem speaks French and Turkish, so we have a difficult time communicating, but communicate nonetheless. Mustafa and I barely communicate other than to make each other tea or coffee. That is a brief introduction. I review the restaurant in my next post.