I was looking for some Morrocan food in the North side (but not around the Wrigleyville/LP area) and only managed to come up with limited options, mainly from a recent Tribune article. The folks and I decided to check out Casa Restaurant on Kedzie and Montrose. Bad choice; it was almost borderline offensive.
The restaurant space is quite large, especially since we were he only diners there at 8pm on a Thursday. There is some Morrocan decor, but most of it seems to have been put up haphazardly.
Although the service could have been more attentive (being the only diners), the lone proprietress/waitress was quite friendly in discourcing about Morrocan cuisine and culture.
We ordered a lamb tagine with green peas and artichoke, a vegetable couscous that comes with a lamb shank, and a Bastilla with chicken. Sadly, all of the food tasted like it was 5 day old reheated leftovers, and not made from fresh ingredients to begin with. The tagine contained canned peas and no artichoke in sight, with lamb that tasted like the border between gamy and not-so-good-funky/rancid. The lamb that came with the couscous was better, although the vegetables were overcooked and the coucous itself was dense, pasty, and oily. Our hostess mentioned that a customer had proclaimed her couscous to be the best amongst the north side Morrocan restaurants. At that moment, I almost laughed, but was restrained by the shock of her statement contradicting the obvious: it was the worst couscous I've ever had...quite the antithesis of the archetype.
The Bastilla is made of a shell of phyllo dough, stuffed with chicken, spices and nuts, and topped off with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon. Yeah, the phyllo was burnt on the edges and a bit dry as if it'd been dessicating for a few days. The filling tasted old of fridge flavor.
How horrific. This was the first time I'd gone out to a Morrocan restaurant, although I've cooked the cuisine myself many times. I had actually trumped my dad's suggestion to got out to a Thai restaurant.
Well...where's the stellar Morrocan food in Chicago? I'll settle for something with decency.
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