Nizam's is an untarnished Turkish delight, the tiny, picture-pretty dining room as charming as ever, the service as solicitous. Go all out on the appetizers: flaky borek pastries stuffed with meat or cheese, stuffed grape leaves fragrant with cinnamon and sleek with good olive oil, nicely garlicky baba ganouj and hummus dips. The most endearing dish is a house specialty, yogurtlu kebab, a mound of thinly sliced, beautifully marinated lamb sitting on a bed of yogurt, fresh tomato and squares of pita bread. Another specialty, doner kebab (served only on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights) is a combination of lamb and veal, marinated and broiled on a rotisserie. Another winner is shish kfte, cylinders of spiced ground lamb, charcoal broiled and served over a lovely mixture of pur,eed eggplant and just a bit of melted cheese. Tavuk izgara is still another glory of the charcoal grill, half a chicken that's marinated for succulence and laced with oregano for flavor. There are fine lamb and chicken kebabs, too, and a lamb shank that's pleasant if unexceptional. But the swordfish kebab has been a disappointment lately, dry and unpleasantly salty. Entrees are accompanied by lovely salads, and desserts are well worth considering: among them are crackly-pastried baklava, a wonderful baked pear with whipped cream, and a satiny rice-flour pudding called kazandibi. Light sleepers, rejoice: there's decaffeinated Turkish coffee.
523 Maple Ave. West., Vienna, Va. 938-8948. L $3.75-$7.50, D $7.95-$16,50. L, D daily. Closed Mon. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Res sugg. Full bar.