They say you should be able to pronounce what’s in your food.
But in the case of Machka, an intimate Turkish tavern opening tonight, we’re willing to bet you’ll be better at devouring it. Herewith, a short glossary.
Pastirma (past-ear-ma): The Turkish answer to pastrami, which accompanies an appetizer of tender blue cheese-and-chorizo-stuffed dates.
Kunefe (coo-nay-fay): An irresistible dessert of soft white cheese, fried with a crisp layer of shredded phyllo dough and soaked in sugar and rosewater syrup.
Istiklal (is-tick-cal): The most famous street in Istanbul, where the owners purchased the vintage photographs that decorate the walls (look for Dad and Grandpa in one shot toward the back).
Çok güzel (choke goo-zel): Means “very good,” which is what you’ll be murmuring after the meal.
“Delicious” will also do just fine.
Machka, 584 Washington Street, at Montgomery Street (415-391-8228 or 584washington.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Machka