File this one under the Venice Blvd. Beautification Project: Sofra Kebab Express has new signage, replacing its blaring yellow marquee and army of flapping flags with something much more halcyon and appealing, in tones of light blue and peach. An owner says the new look is part of a larger effort underway to bring the look of the place up to par with the food (we enjoy the doner here and eating the "sofra salad" tastes just like making hummus with your own teeth). But the real stunner stands inside.
Encircling the entire interior dining area is now a bright mural that recreates the Golden Horn of Istanbul in all its glory, a 2-D image that sort of kind of makes you feel like you're there, instead of a somewhat grimy block of Palms.
Even better, kicking off the mural is a huge panel that shows Joe Camel kicking back on vacation, puffing on a hookah, and overlooking the bay while he looks at you in that knowing way he has. Not quite as gorgeous as the painted blues of the Bosporus or the silhouette of a tiny hillside Hagia Sofia, but definitely awesome in its what-the-F-ness.
We mean it, unlicensed, bootleg cartoon characters, when we say we wouldn't want to live in L.A. without you. Take a look!
Sofra Kabab Express, 10821 Venice Blvd. 310-838-8833.