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An Education in Ottoman Pastry: La Cafe

I love finding a food that I haven't seen before. I wandered into La Cafe on Regents Road in University City looking for a sandwich and ended up getting educated about burekas, also known as boreka, burek, byoreka, and many other names, depending on where it's made.

La Cafe is a Kosher restaurant and bakery. They serve vegetarian and middle eastern fare, pastries, and cakes, along with a few nods to south of the border (breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros).

A bureka is a filled pastry, most often savory, made with phyllo dough or puff pastry. It probably originated in the Anatolian region of the early Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey. From there, it traveled and evolved into many different forms, with unique regional fillings.

La Cafe's bureka is Isreali style, and comes filled with mashed potatoes ($8.95) or cheese ($9.95). I chose a potato one, which has a small chopped salad and a hard boiled egg on the side.

Well, yum. The warm potato filling was surrounded by phyllo, then wrapped into a spiral. The filling was smooth, thick and just rich enough, and the phyllo was baked into flaky, crisp goodness. The portion was huge - I took most of it home. It reheated well and enjoyed another life as a side dish for two. The salad wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it was very fresh and provided a nice counterpoint to the pastry.

I also had a good double espresso ($2.50) to ward off any sleepiness from the twofold hit of carbs.

Next time, I'll try the Shakshuka ($9.95), a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions.

La Cafe

6104 Regents Rd.

San Diego, CA 92122

858-202-0097

Hours:

Sunday - 8.30 am - 8.30 pm

Monday -Thursday - 7.30 am - 8.30 pm

Friday - 7.30 am - 2.00 pm

Saturday - 6.00 pm - 10.00 pm

Free lot parking.

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I love finding a food that I haven't seen before. I wandered into La Cafe on Regents Road in University City looking for a sandwich and ended up getting educated about burekas, also known as boreka, burek, byoreka, and many other names, depending on where it's made.

La Cafe is a Kosher restaurant and bakery. They serve vegetarian and middle eastern fare, pastries, and cakes, along with a few nods to south of the border (breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros).

A bureka is a filled pastry, most often savory, made with phyllo dough or puff pastry. It probably originated in the Anatolian region of the early Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey. From there, it traveled and evolved into many different forms, with unique regional fillings.

La Cafe's bureka is Isreali style, and comes filled with mashed potatoes ($8.95) or cheese ($9.95). I chose a potato one, which has a small chopped salad and a hard boiled egg on the side.

Well, yum. The warm potato filling was surrounded by phyllo, then wrapped into a spiral. The filling was smooth, thick and just rich enough, and the phyllo was baked into flaky, crisp goodness. The portion was huge - I took most of it home. It reheated well and enjoyed another life as a side dish for two. The salad wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it was very fresh and provided a nice counterpoint to the pastry.

I also had a good double espresso ($2.50) to ward off any sleepiness from the twofold hit of carbs.

Next time, I'll try the Shakshuka ($9.95), a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions.

La Cafe

6104 Regents Rd.

San Diego, CA 92122

858-202-0097

Hours:

Sunday - 8.30 am - 8.30 pm

Monday -Thursday - 7.30 am - 8.30 pm

Friday - 7.30 am - 2.00 pm

Saturday - 6.00 pm - 10.00 pm

Free lot parking.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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