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Posted on: January 10, 2014

Authentic Turkish Eatery A La Turca Now Open in New Downtown Hollywood Location

A La Turca, a popular restaurant serving authentic Middle Eastern Mediterranean cuisine in Downtown Hollywood for the past 10 years, has expanded and relocated its operations to a new downtown location at 1848 Harrison Street.

Proprietor Tony Unal signed the lease for the newly redecorated space with Downtown Hollywood-based property owner S & M Lancaster Properties Inc. in early December and reopened A La Turca on December 17.

While the locale may have changed, A La Turca’s extensive selection of traditional Middle Eastern Mediterranean offerings at reasonable prices and its dedication to quality ingredients and service remain the same.

The menu is influenced by Unal’s Turkish heritage and features a wide array of mezes (hot and cold appetizers) such as hummus, tabulee, falafel and stuffed grape leaves; red lentil soup; salads; wraps and pita sandwiches; and chops and shish kebabs. There is a variety of lamb, chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian selections, with main dishes served on a heap of buttery rice with grilled tomatoes, peppers and onions. After-dinner treats such as baklava can be enjoyed with a cup of strong Turkish coffee.

Unal said all of A La Turca’s customers are regulars but most are not Turkish, just fans of Turkish cuisine who also appreciate “a place that is clean, fun to be in and upscale.”

While some of the lunch crowd are locals, the vast majority of customers come from as far away as South Beach, Kendall and Homestead. A La Turca also enjoys a strong tourist business that includes visitors from Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Canada.

“They tell me, ‘We cannot find this food anywhere in the United States,’” said Unal, who left his native Istanbul in 1995, a year after finishing high school, and owned an Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh before settling in South Florida.

His decision to open A La Turca was sparked by his own longing for his Turkish culinary roots. “When I first moved here, I craved the food but couldn’t find any restaurants,” Unal recalled.

What initially attracted him to Downtown Hollywood was its central location. “I wanted to open right in the middle so people traveling north or south can easily get to us,” Unal said.

And when it came time to relocate his business, he decided to stay in the historic downtown arts, music and entertainment district.

“I believe in this town. I’ve believed in it since Day 1,” said Unal, who also lives in Hollywood. “The plans that the City has here are fantastic plans.”

A La Turca is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10:00 p.m. Sunday. A La Turca offers outdoor dining as well as a full online menu for delivery. Catering, private dining and special events also can be arranged. For more information, call 954-925-5900 or visit www.myalaturca.com.

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