Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine, owned by Kamran Esar, joins a modest lineup of Tucson restaurants offering Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. From opening day Tuesday, Aug. 13, through Friday, Aug. 16, diners can get 15% off their bill.

Tucson’s newest Mediterranean restaurant is opening next week with a special deal for diners.

From opening day Tuesday, Aug. 13, through Friday, Aug. 16, diners can get 15% off their total bill at Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar at 2945 E. Speedway, said chef-owner Kamran Esar.

Istanbul, under the helm of newly hired chef Yasin Buharali, will serve a menu of traditional Turkish fare including kebabs, wraps and pita sandwiches featuring falafel, chicken and beef.

House special entrees including lamb chops and dishes centered on salmon, shrimp and lamb shanks run $11 to $18. Kebab plates paired with rice, salad and pita bread run $11 to $13.75.

Esar said that chef Buharali, who was born and trained in Turkey, came to Tucson from New York, where he had been cooking for 15 years.

Istanbul joins a handful of restaurants in Tucson that specialize in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines including Zayna Mediterranean at 1138 N. Belvedere Ave.; Chef Alisah’s Restaurant at 5931 N. Oracle Road; and Pelio Grill at 994 E. University Blvd. across from the University of Arizona.

Istanbul’s hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Details:

Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine and Bar is in the former location of Mays Counter Chicken & Waffles at 2945 E. Speedway.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.