The Lahmajune @ The Kitchen Door, Oxbow Market, Napa

The Lahmajune @ The Kitchen Door, Oxbow Market, Napa

The Lahmajune @ The Kitchen Door, Oxbow Market, Napa

 

Despite its well-deserved reputation as a food mecca, one thing that I’ve learned about the Napa Valley is that there’s no place in town to get a proper gyro. I love a gyro. And if you’ve ever had a good one, then it’s something you’ll always crave from time to time. But here in Napa, it’s impossible.

Buy it’s not just gyros. In fact, it’s somewhat humbling to admit that the Napa Valley is sorely deficient in its ethnic cuisines. It’s my main problem with the food here, if I can just nitpick for a moment.

People who aren’t from California sometimes point out that there are plenty of great Mexican restaurants in the area, which there are, but as a native Californian, I don’t consider Mexican food any more “ethnic” than Italian, so I’m not hearing that argument.

The irony is, we have an enviable amount of Michelin stars per capita in the Napa Valley, but nowhere can you find a reliable version of curry or even a late-night bowl of pho. Even pad thai is iffy. These metropolitan staples just don’t exist here in wine country.

The point is: Napa’s ethnic awakening is still a ways away.

So, in the search for the meal well-traveled, I submit the Kitchen Door’s lahmajune, an Armenian amalgam of oven-fired flatbread, deliciously spiced lamb, and a refreshing yogurt sauce. At its core, this trio of ingredients boasts some very appealing, gyro-like qualities and comparisons (like the gyro, the lahmajune, or lahmacun, finds its roots in Turkish cuisine).

Without a more literal option, I consider the Kitchen Door’s lahmajune to be the best gyro in Napa, because at least it can satisfy the gyro craving.

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