Earlier this year, local chef Mourad Lahlou opened his new restaurant Mourad, a follow-up to the highly acclaimed Aziza. I was eager for Mourad’s opening after I got a taste of its offerings at Jack’s work holiday party last year (the company he works for owns the building in which Mourad is located). I’ve since eaten there twice, and I was very impressed by the comforting Moroccan-inspired dishes served family-style at this Michelin star restaurant.
We recently ate at Mourad with a large group of friends. This is one of my new favorite spots in San Francisco for large parties, as the family-style dishes are delicious and fun to share, and it’s a great way to try several of the larger items on the menu. I was on my best behavior to not be an annoying food photographer around my friends, so I only shot a couple photos of the chicken and sides. But we ordered a nice variety of items including the following:
- Oysters with preserved lemon and pink peppercorn.
- Eggplant with cucumber, oregano, pepper, flatbread, za’atar (a delicious Middle Eastern spice mixture made of dried herbs, sesame seeds, salt and sumac, a dried fruit from the cashew family).
- Salmon with sunchoke, seaweed, cilantro, and curry.
- Chicken wings with squash, pomegranate, gooseberry, harissa (a North African hot chili pepper paste), buckwheat.
- Basteeya (aka “pastilla” = a sweet/savory Moroccan pie) with duck, blackberry, hearts of palm, crème fraîche, almond.
- Lamb Shoulder with market greens, cumin salt, braising jus (serves 4-6 people).
- Chicken with preserved lemon, green olive, marash (Turkish red pepper flakes) (serves 2).
- Couscous with brown butter.
- Kale with olive oil, citrus.
- Potatoes with buttermilk, onion.
- Heirloom beans with tomato, feta, za’atar crumble.
- Sugar Puffs with apple, baharat caramel (baharat is a Middle Eastern spice blend of allspice, black peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika).
Both times I ate at Mourad, everything was fantastic. The main courses of chicken and lamb were the standout dishes, along with the accompanying sides. I was actually a little disappointed that I ate so much of the starters, as the main courses really were the stars of the show. The lamb was “fall-off-the-bone” delicious and the chicken was juicy and crispy on the outside. But everything we ordered was great and well seasoned, and Mourad is definitely deserving of its new Michelin star. I’m eager to return with friends and family soon.
Mourad: www.mouradsf.com 140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco (The PacBell Building) (415) 660-2500. Hours: Mon-Fri Lunch 11:30am-2pm; continuous bar bites served throuhgout the afternoon until dinner service starts at 5:30pm; Sat-Sun doors open at 5pm; Dinner starts nightly at 5:30pm. Reservations via phone and OpenTable. Corkage is $40 for each of the first two 750mL bottles, and then $80 for each additional 750mL bottle. Larger format bottles are charged a higher fee. Valet parking is available for $20. Other parking option: Jessie Square Garage at 223 Stevenson St at 3rd.