Doner G - Anaheim
Next time, I must come earlier. Arriving an hour before closing time just doesn't work at Doner G. This is one of those places that seems to only stock just enough food for the day. When things are done, things are done.
Their namesake dish, Turkish doner kebab, which is similar to the shawarma and the gyro, was history by the time we arrived. The guy behind the counter delivered the sad news to us even before I had a chance to speak. Disappointed, I looked over and saw the bare metal rod on which the hunk of lamb would've spun like a ballerina. Its heating element was cold.
No doner meant that virtually half the menu were eliminated as choices. I also missed ordering their last batch of fries by a hair. The customer who came before me got that.
Had I arrived a minute or two later, the adana kebab would've been claimed too. That would've been a shame, because this Turkish version of the koobideh -- where ground lamb is molded and grilled on a metal sword -- was wondrous. Yes, it's similar to Persian koobideh; but that's as inadequate a comparison as proclaiming that a Cajun hot link is the same as a hot dog.
This is an entirely different creature with an entirely different bent. Bursting from charbroiled-end to charbroiled-end with chili seeds and pods of unidentified spices, it's so juicy it spurts, and so intensely hot my eyes widened after my first chomp.
To blot out the burn, there was toasted pita bread, pickled cabbage, a simple salad of cubed tomatoes, and moist rice pilaf, which ate as richly as the stuff the Malaysians pile under chopped Hainan chicken. It had to have been cooked with either butter or chicken broth or both.
They subbed a lamb shish kebab for the second adana, which turned out nicely charred. But eating it after the adana was like conquering Mt. Baldy after you'd been to Everest.
The lamb chunks needed to be dunked into the minty yogurt and the thousand island-like sauce they provide in thimbles.
Doner G's chicken shish kebab had its heart in the right place, too. The healthy, plump morsels also did well with a slathering of sauce. But next time, I'm coming down for dinner before the doner's done.
2139 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92806
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
Dosa Place - Tustin