Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Aziza
I love restaurants that have names that are palindromes. In fact, I don't think I have been to any other palindromic restaurants to my memory. Anyhoo, I had a very good meal at Aziza a few weeks ago. The decor is nice, albeit a bit out of place for the Richmond.

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Am I ridiculous to take pictures of bread? In any case, we got a bowl of bread. With butter, no less.

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Mediterranean spreads - balsamic-eggplant mousse, roasted pepper-pomegranate-pinenut, yogurt-dill, flat bread

This was a good appetizer, better than Kokkari, in my opinion. My favorite spread was the pomegranate, which was a great combination of smoky, tart, and nutty. The eggplant was also good, but a little subdued. The yogurt-dill didn't impress.

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Prather Ranch kefta skewers - grilled grassfed beef & grapes over cucumber & torpedo onion salad, black sesame vinaigrette

I usually tend to stay away from beef skewers, because they are often overdone. However, I did enjoy these: the beef was tender and marinated well. The grapes helped to balance out the spices in the beef.

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Devils Gulch Ranch rabbit - Hungarian paprika, baby carrots, parnsip puree, dried bing cherries

I had a hard time deciding among the squab, rabbit, hen, and lamb--ok I guess that's just about everything on the meat menu. Anyway, I settled on the rabbit, which was prepared two ways: confit (the chunk in the middle) and seared (the disks around the plate). The meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful. There was a bit too much sauce, which became too salty. I enjoyed the pairing with carrots; I guess I got to eat the rabbit's food as well.

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Couscous Aziza - crisp vegetables, grilled chicken & prawns, spicy lamb sausage, stewed lamb

This is great for the indecisive, since you get everything. D ordered this, so I got a taste of the couscous. I really liked the texture of the couscous, and the sausage was great. I still prefered my rabbit though.

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Lavender black pepper angel food cake - slow roasted strawberries, creme chantilly

Aziza has a great dessert menu, which I had some trouble choosing from. We settled on the angel food cake, which was, thankfully, not too sweet. The spicy black pepper really worked with the delicate lavender, unlike the disappointing peppercorn-accented desserts I had at ChikaLicious.

Service was wonderful. Our server was wonderfully patient with my ambivalence and familiar with the menu. They (the chef, apparently) also comped us some spiced almonds and extra flatbread. I really do wonder why I keep getting free things.

Aziza
5800 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94121

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2 Comments:

Blogger NS said...

I completely agree with you that the spreads appetizer at Aziza is much better than that at Kokkari. And although I probably like Aziza's yogurt-dill spread more than you do, the tzatziki at Kokkari (and its sister restaurant Evvia) clearly has the edge. The next time you go, you should definitely order the lamb shank. It is outstanding -- one of my favorite dishes in the city!

6/22/2006 9:04 AM  
Blogger jeanie said...

Great writing and another great post!

Always salivating and laughing when I pop round...trying to make sure I don't inflict my computer on the next person that has to put there fingers on my saliva covered key board!

Btw, would love to start email contact with you (wanting to start getting to konw other colleagues around the world). My address is hasslemehere@gmail.com

6/22/2006 3:10 PM  

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