Sex on the beach with mojitos

Among the many changes in Beyoglu, count the reopening of the gorgeously restored Pera Palace in the top five. Last year this hotel, where Agatha Christie famously wrote “Murder on the Orient Express,” was just a shell with more guards than workmen hanging around. This July it was, I heard, attracting the likes of Ben Affleck to the terrace bar. Where the menu, I’m sorry to say, was heavy on quesadillas and burgers rather than the wonders that Istanbul kitchens can produce. I guess even the best hotels will always be hotels, pandering to travelers craving safety over adventure, serving food everywhere that you could get anywhere. My new name for it is stateless cuisine.