Turkish-born chef Murat Dayioglu will orchestrate a special "Istanbul Night" at Ben Brown's in South Laguna on May 19, complete with lion's milk and a belly-dancer. The evening begins with eight Turkish appetizers, served with a taste of raki, the national Turkish drink, also called lion's milk because it turns milky when poured over ice. The entree will be spring lamb and vegetables baked in foil, served with a shepherd's salad. The event is from 6 to 9:30 p.m., and dancer Asmara will perform at 6:45 and 8:30 p.m. Paid reservations are $30 a person (not including drinks, gratuities and taxes) and should be made by Tuesday. Ben Brown's is at 31106 Coast Highway. (714) 499-2663.
The Royal Khyber recently inaugurated a new luncheon menu and a three-course early-bird feast. At noon, in addition to the weekday luncheon buffet ($7.95), owner Arun Puri has added a Caesar salad, Indian style, with tandoori chicken and garlic naan, plus open-faced sandwiches (vegetarian, chicken, lamb, served on garlic naan bread) and masala pasta with a choice of chicken, shrimp or mixed seafood. New luncheon items range from $4.50 to $6.75 and are part of Puri's "Express Lunch"--served within 10 minutes or it's free. The early dinner includes mulligatawny soup, tandoori appetizers and a combination of chicken, lamb and vegetarian entrees. It's $10.95, served between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The Royal Khyber is at 1000 Bristol St., Newport Beach. (714) 752-5200.