Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Aziza, San Francisco

Valentine's Day fell on a Friday this year, which would have been great if we didn't have jobs or a baby.  Happily, we have both, so we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a day later, up at the Moroccan restaurant Aziza in the Richmond District of San Francisco.

I'd been dying to visit Aziza since at least 2003, when I was a student at SFSU.  Since that time, they've earned (and maintained) a single Michelin star.

Aziza is known for its cocktails.  My wife greatly enjoyed her gin / lavender / orange blossom honey concoction.

Is it wrong of me that the Clash's Rock the Casbah was going through my mind?  Don't answer that.

My own cocktail had huckleberry, dry sherry, and pisco.  Not bad (though I preferred my wife's).

As our first course, we ordered "Spreads," featuring the best flatbread I've ever had and three of the most delectable dips (eggplant, dill-yogurt and piquillo-almond).  We ordered more flatbread simply because we couldn't let the dip go to waste (our bellies paid for that later, but it was still worth it).

Time to consult the beverage menu for another drink.

Decision made = gin with mango, coconut water, and basil seeds.  Good, but I was still ruined by my wife's drink, which topped both of mine.

Our second course was duck confit basteeya, which has been described by others as "a Hot Pocket on crack."  That's a sufficient if vulgar definition, though I'll augment that by saying it comes out looking like a Brie cheese, and tastes better than anything you've probably had in your entire existence.  This is the only menu item that is on both the a la carte menu and the tasting menu, and from the first bite it was plain to see why.

My wife and I have this unintentional yet hilarious habit = she orders like a man, and I order like a woman.  Case in point, this was my lamb loin (which was amazing, if a little dainty - it featured lamb belly, beets, chard, and I believe apple puree)...

...and this was my wife's lamb shank, which was probably the greatest piece of lamb I ever tried (my wife was kind enough to give me the leftovers the next day).

Verdict = we're going back, hopefully with friends in tow.

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