Tasting menu at Aziza

by foodhoe on July 22, 2014

5800 Geary Blvd, (@22nd) SF, CA | 415.752.2222 | website

aziza

Aziza has been on my list of restaurants to try for quite a while… an almost embarrassing number of  years in fact.  It is an unassuming restaurant out in the Richmond District, where chef-owner Mourad Lahlou presents an exquisitely modern spin on Moroccan food.  It is the only Moroccan restaurant in North America to receive a Michelin Star, and we were excited to celebrate our 20th anniversary together by dazzling our tastebuds.  While the exterior is rather unremarkable, the inside has a simple modern feel with traditional moorish elements like the arches that resemble an interior courtyard with stylized Moroccan chandeliers hanging overhead.

aziza_diningroom

The bar area was abuzz with activity throughout the night, the rhythmic sounds of ice being shaken, drinks muddled and cocktails being poured.  There were always a few patrons sitting at the cozy counter enjoying the artisinal cocktails of mixologist Farnoush Deylamian who uses fresh herbs, spices and farm-fresh ingredients.

handcrafted cocktails.  Mixologist Farnoush Deylamian takes muddled herbs, vegetables, fruits and spices and blends them into a premium selection of drinks.   – See more at: http://www.eatspeaksf.com/eatspeaksf/2013/02/review-aziza-.html#sthash.JPWH9LZB.dpuf

aziza_bar2

Mr. K had a martini which was served in an elegant old school cocktail glass.

aziza_martini

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A Feastly feast of roasted pig face and pizza

by foodhoe on July 15, 2014

feastly_table

I received an invitation to an alfresco luncheon of wood-fired pizza and roasted pig face, to be served in a beautiful lakeside setting just a 35 minute drive from San Francisco.  I first focused on the words roasted pig face and then the words blogger discount caught my eye. I signed up to attend at a discounted price, but $49 for a four course meal with beer and wine pairings – which ended up being an epic 4 hour feast, is really quite a deal!  I got totally lost on the way to Fairfield, taking a long scenic route past Stockton, arriving flustered and a bit late.

feastly_turbines

I had called to let the host Steve (aka Don Stefano) know that I was going to be late, so although I missed the cocktails and mingling he and his lovely wife Bubbs set me up and we got straight to business. Steve began his career as a winemaker and is a self-trained cook drawing inspiration from chefs and winemakers he’s visited around the world who’ve been generous enough to share their creations with him.  He shares his experience through Feastly, a website that connects aspiring chefs with enthusiastic eaters who can enjoy well prepared meals served in the chef’s home.  It is a form of social media that gets people off their computers and engaged with people around a cozy table, where attendees can delight in the experience of dining with total strangers. There were a couple of other blogger friends (Christina from East Bay Dish, Brenda who writes Bites and Bourbon and her husband Pat), so I knew half the table already!  The other attendees were food enthusiasts, we all had a shared love of good food and wine and I was soon toasting and enjoying the meal.  So there’s my spot at the table, catching up by enjoying my three courses and beverages concurrently…

feastly_1stcourse

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The Dock at Linden Street in Oakland

June 30, 2014
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95 Linden Street, Oakland, CA | 510.338.3965 | website I recently met my friends Christina of East Bay Dish and Brenda from Bites & Bourbon for drinks and some excellent snacks at The Dock, a newly opened collaboration between James Syhabout (of Commis Restaurant, Hawker Fare, and Box & Bells Eating House, who is Oakland’s only Michelin starred chef) and Linden Street Brewery’s Adam […]

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Dinner at 1760, SF

June 24, 2014
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1760 Polk St (at Washington) SF, CA 94109 | (415) 395-1212 | website My friend Jaytee and I went to 1760 for a quiet birthday celebration (hers) a few months ago, sorry for the late report!  The restaurant is located at 1760 Polk (thus the name), and is a lovely casual dining venue that opened last year by the owners of Acquerello […]

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Sunday brunch at the Cliffhouse SF

June 16, 2014
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1090 Point Lobos, SF, CA | 415.386.3330 | website My friend Jaytee who lives in the city, has the knack for discovering grandly decadent brunch spots, although I doubt we’ll ever see one that reaches the level of indulgence as the Carnelian Room, which is sadly now closed.  But I digress…  Jaytee suggested this magnificent spot for our group […]

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festive dining at Straw in SF

June 9, 2014
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203 Octavia Blvd | 415.431.FOOD (3663) |  website I find myself irresistibly drawn to the whimsical foods of my youth and was excited to hear about Straw Restaurant which serves carnival-inspired comfort food, then doubly so when I saw the Blackboard Eats deal of $35 for lunch/dinner for two.  My friend and frequent dining partner DebbieG joined me […]

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A Feast at Great China 2.0 in Berkeley

June 2, 2014
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2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford), Berkeley | 510.843.7996 | website lunch 11:30 a.m - 2:30 p.m.; dinner 5 to 9:30 p.m.  A few weeks ago, my friend Ben from Focus:Snap:Eat, organized a multi-course spring banquet at Great China restaurant in Berkeley.  Great China had closed due to a fire two years and reopened in December 2013, completely […]

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