Eating Out

Dalida SF – Vibrant Eastern Mediterranean Food in the Presidio

Dalida is a welcome dining option in the Presidio, serving upscale Mediterranean food in a beautiful setting. Husband-and-wife chef owners Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz combine their extensive fine dining experience with Sayat’s Turkish roots for a modern and heartfelt menu.

We opted for Chef’s menu, which was a curated experience of their a la carte items. They started us off with the breaking bread – a plate of wonderfully fluffy “chubby” pita accompanied by a spread which included hummus, muhammara, and smoked yogurt. Don’t miss this one.

Another equally as vibrant and delicious starter was the octopus and sujuk. Extra-thinly sliced octopus was harmonious with bright, tangy olive-caper dressing and spicy fermented sausage.

The eye-catching, seafood-topped California tahdig was not as memorable as its appearance unfortunately. I thought the seafood mixed oddly with the tahdig rice. I recommend the traditional saffron tahdig instead, with extra crispy rice and barberries.

There is a concise Middle Eastern pasta section, including classic Turkish kayseri manti, which are meat-filled dumplings topped with yogurt and tomato sauce. I wish I tried this here, since I loved it in Turkey, but we had a pescatarian restriction. Instead we had su borek, a pan-roasted philo dough pastry with spinach and comte sauce, which unfortunately was a bit bland. I found this to be the case with the swordfish as well.

The sides were strong, including forest mushroom tabbouleh lettuce wraps with great texture from crispy fava and pomegranate seeds. I was excited to see late season sweet jimmy nardello peppers still on the menu as well!

I was glad I saved space for dessert. Their melon and anise ice cream was a pairing I didn’t know I needed in my life. And the rose tres leches cake was both airy and decadent, and a nice nod to Chef Laura’s Mexican roots as well.

We had a couple rounds of cocktails with dinner, and I liked the Pasha, a well-balanced blend of tequila, strawberry, tomato grenadine, thyme mountain tea, and clarified milk.

Overall, I would recommend Dalida for the food and setting. I found the appetizers and sides to be standout, and next time I definitely want to try some of their meat dishes like the aleppo half-chicken or 12-hour lamb shoulder tandoor.

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