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aziza - DAT (long)

artemis | Jan 21, 200608:53 PM

my friend and i went to aziza on thursday night for my (and her) first forray into moroccan food. i don't know how it compares to other moroccan places and can only offer our impressions. in sum: quite a splurge for me, but a very enjoyable evening overall.

aziza is not in fact offering the full menu. the day boat scallops are not available, nor the squab or guinea hen. it's also not 'any three courses'; you make an appetizer, entree, and dessert selection. yes, that does seem a bit obvious, but i did have thoughts of ordering more entrees. we shared everything.

waiter had a bit of an attitude, but i'm not sure if it was because of DAT or that we were young (mid 20s). he certainly redeemed himself later, though.

we each got a cocktail: i the blood orange and mint smash, and she the almond margarita. hers was much better; mine had muddled flavors and i couldn't taste the mint. pricey things, at $9.

i loved the bread. dense, sesame-seeded, slighty salty. YUM. lovely olives (green and black) along side.

we started with the basteeya, and enjoyed it very much. sweet meat is a new one on me; i'd definetely get it again. lovely flaky phyllo full of spiced chicken, covered in powdered sugar. very interesting.

entrees: black cod clay pot, and after learning the guniea hen isn't an option, we resigned ourselves to the chicken (we don't eat lamb/beef). when the entrees appeared, we were *repeatedly* admonished to not touch the very hot clay pot or its plate.

and then with a flourish the waiter said he 'pulled some strings' and presented the guinea hen. i'm really glad he did, it was delicious. it's a half-hen, with the dark meat on top of the potatoes, and the breast sliced and fanned out on the plate in the lemon sauce. perfectly cooked with perfectly crispy skin, complex flavors. not a crumb left on the plate.

while good, i don't think i'd get the fish again. the potatoes were very good, and the fish perfectly cooked with a generous amount of saffron to be seen, but it wasn't nearly as much a revelation as the hen. i like chinese clay pots better.

dessert: scarlet berries and bowl of bliss. the sorbet was good, not sweet at all (yay), though there was a curly cookie stuck in it that i felt was underbaked. i found the spicy-chocolate custard was rich and the heat was subtle; very good and different. peppered marshmallow was just weird; not a fan.

$84 pretip, $110 total (not the server's fault we were getting a bit of a discount, he is still working just as hard).

Link: http://www.aziza-sf.com/dinner.html

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