A “hands on” entrepreneur who greets his customers by name, Tarla Grill owner Yusuf Topal was waiting for the right opportunity to expand the Tarla brand. When the owners of Public Market Emeryville approached him about bringing Tarla’s unique cuisine to their location, Yusuf knew this was what he was waiting for.
With 17 artisan eateries under one roof and a vision centered on “traveling the world one bite at a time”, he saw the perfect place to take the core of what makes Tarla so special and adapt it to fit the space and the customers and Jayna Gyro was born.
Jayna Gyro is a fast-casual restaurant with grab and go options, in addition to made to order menu items, at approachable prices for the locals and tourists who flock to the busy Market. Staying true to his roots, the menu features culturally inspired Mediterranean cuisine deeply rooted in Greek and Turkish traditions.
One of their signature items, the chickpea sandwich for example, is a nostalgic dish from Yusuf’s childhood growing up in Gaziantep. Other menu items include chicken Gyros, beef Gyros, and their signature Greek salad along with the traditional appetizers and accompaniments you would expect, from Dolmades and Spanakopita to Hummus and Tzatziki.
Everything will be made fresh daily, including all of the meats using an on-site Gyro broiler, all in open kitchen concept where guests can see exactly where their food is coming from.
Chef Jason Naaman, of Tarla Mediterranean Grill in Napa Valley, will oversee Jayna Gyro with Yusuf. Chef Jason became interested in the culinary arts in his early teen years, observing and learning from his mother and great grandmother. He was particularly fascinated with the Middle Eastern cuisine his great grandmother prepared around the holidays. Chef Jason will be elevating Jayna’s dishes to the next level of food excellence.
One thing Chef Jason has always believed in is simplicity. He says, “When you have quality ingredients and good technique, even the simplest of dishes can exceed expectations. Of course, sustainability and sourcing local products are always important in supporting our community, and so is an education of what our land and water have to offer. Even though it may not be the norm, knowing and utilizing our local resources can go a long way in securing the future of the business not to mention mankind.” Chef Jason aims to yield nourishing, creative, and culturally exciting eats originating from Turkey and Greece; lands heralded for their cuisine and culture!
A native of Turkey, Yusuf Topal is a 25-year veteran of the restaurant and hospitality industry. The early part of his career was spent on the high seas, where he served as maître d’ and manager of specialty restaurants aboard luxury cruise ships, before moving to Napa in early 2009.
Together with his wife Breanna, the couple decided to settle down stateside, and Napa was the natural choice for its proximity to family and its food centric culture. In 2011, Yusuf opened Tarla Mediterranean Grill in downtown Napa, which has emerged as a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its hospitality, classic Mediterranean dishes and innovative menu specials.
Jayna will be opening in the former We Sushi stall and is anticipating a May Grand Opening.