Photo By: Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Veteran restaurateur Aziz Dogan is aiming to show Los Altos residents that his newest venture – Village Kebab – is a reflection of the cuisine he and his staff espouse.
The Turkish-born Dogan opened his newest eatery at 233 State St. Oct. 15 with a pledge to offer the tried-and-true Mediterranean favorites he knows and loves. The staples found on his menu include baba ganoush, tabbouleh and moussaka, along with a variety of Mediterranean wraps and kebabs.
In addition to traditional Turkish desserts like baklava, Village Kebab offers a variation on the Arabic-influenced dish künefe, a syrupy, pastrylike dessert with crusted layers made from long, thin strands of angel-hair pasta, stuffed with a sweet cheese.
“I have more knowledge about this type of cuisine,” said Dogan, who owned and operated the Italian restaurant Bella Luna in Palo Alto for more than a decade before it closed approximately two years ago. “So far, everything’s been good. I love it.”
Dogan’s head chef, Nilgun Boyar Dizon, shares this cultural flavor. A classically trained French chef who learned her trade at the Prealpina Culinary Institute in Chexbres, Switzerland, more than 30 years ago, Dizon said the restaurant’s menu aims to offer more than just a mix of traditional Mediterranean cuisines. As the new restaurant gains customers, Dizon said she hopes to add some twists to her menu and include dishes with French, Italian and Moroccan influences.
“We want to express ourselves, and we want to be different from other Mediterranean restaurants in the area,” said Dizon, who points to her Russian and Turkish background as further culinary inspirations. “Our plan is to offer different specials every week for our guests.”
Dizon noted a desire to incorporate organic ingredients in her dishes – including chicken and produce. As a chef, she added, her goal is to provide customers with more than just a tasty meal.
“We’re really paying attention to using more and more organic ingredients,” she said. “Mediterranean people love fresh, healthful food.”
In the meantime, Dogan said he’s enjoying the family-oriented nature downtown and feels he made the right choice in opening Village Kebab in Los Altos.
“I just really like Los Altos,” he said. “Working in Palo Alto for years, I feel like I know the area and I know the people.”
For more information, call 397-5620.
For the Town Crier's full album of photos of the new restaurant, click here.