Kirbie's Cravings

Sultan Baklava

One of our favorite restaurants used to be Sultan Baklava, so we were quite sad when they decided to leave their restaurant in El Cajon. Towards the end of December, while walking to the Horton Plaza parking garage, I noticed an opening soon sign for Sultan Baklava and immediately wondered if it could really be. I didn’t get my hopes up because it was the Gaslamp which seemed like an unusual spot to reopen. However, sure enough, a few weeks later, I read on Eater that Sultan was indeed back.

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely lunch there with CC. It was such a nice day that we chose to sit outside. The inside of the restaurant is quite roomy, much like its previous location. The menu is almost exactly how I remembered, and they also still make their own baklava as well.

Patlican Salatasi (eggplant, onion, sweet pepper, tomato, parsley)

I remember really enjoying this salad in the past. On this visit, the eggplant puree seemed to be in need a little more roasting time and seasoning.

Lava Bread

Appetizers come with complimentary lava bread, which you break off to eat with the puree.

Fıstıkh Kebab (ground beef, pistachios, house spices)

They have quite a selection of kebab varities to choose from. We chose to try this version, which was topped with vibrant crushed green pistachios. It looks quite pretty. The kebab was as enjoyable as I remembered.

Lahmacun (ground beef, onion, parsley, tomato and house spices)

This is similar to a flat bread pizza. I recall I previously always ordered the pides which have a slightly thicker consistency so I don’t remember if I had this one in the past. I liked the ground beef on top and the bread was very thin and crispy.

We also ordered some baklava to go. They cost $1.50 a piece. It used to be by weight and it was a little cheaper, but they are now in the Gaslamp so I guess they need to charge a little more.

I got four pieces to-go: walnut, almond, chocolate and cream.

They finished the box with a sprinkle of crushed pistachios, which was a nice touch. I’ve always found baklava to be too sweet, but when Sultan used to make it, it was so light and delicate and not too sweet for me. I think the recipe has changed slightly because while these were still good, I actually did find them to be too sweet and I had trouble eating my share. Luckily, Mr. K finished them off for me.

Overall, we had a pretty good time here. I will say though, that the food wasn’t quite as good as when they were located in El Cajon, but it’s still pretty good and the service is very friendly.

You can read other accounts of Sultan from mmm-yoso and CC.


Sultan Baklava
770 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
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10 comments on “Sultan Baklava”

  1. I’ve yet to try baklava that I really enjoy, I also tend to find it to sweet and syrupy. Will have to try Sultan’s sometimes – I like the idea of a chocolate one!

    • The former ones they used to make were the first ones I had that were not too sweet. the ones they make now are unfortunately a little too sweet for me, but it’s still worth a try!

  2. We’re going to have to give them a try. It looks really nice!

    • I hope you enjoy it! It used to be one of my favorites spots in SD and we’d go every few months. It’s a lot of food too.

  3. Glad you got to try them out. We used to really enjoy the lahmacun at Sultan; in fact, that and the acili ezme were the two items we thought we done just as well as, or even better than what we had in Turkey.

  4. Hi Kirbie – It was fun spending time with you here for lunch.  You’re right, I looked up my old pix of the eggplant and it was the same but didn’t taste the same, though.   I want to try their other beef kabobs now!

    • I do too. I do feel like they may have toned things down for their new location which is too bad, but I still really enjoy the food overall.

  5. Pistachios on meat sounds like a good idea to me and it adds such a pretty color. Too bad it wasn’t quite the same as you remember, but it all looked very good. Nice variety of baklava, too. 

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