Driven by a desire to strip away the clichĂ©s and misconceptions about Moroccan food and celebrate its true potential for fine dining, [Chef Mourad]’s cooking is both cerebral and sensual – a rare blend of stunning presentation and meticulous attention to detail with soulful and often surprising flavor combinations.
~ from the Aziza website

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Olives, almond, parsley, rosemary.
Spreads, eggplant, yogurt-dill, piquillo-almond-tahini, flatbread.

I pretty much jump at any reason to eat somewhere new. What better reason than to welcome my new sister-in-law to the family? Aziza was the perfect spot for this – full of color, amazing cocktails and beautiful, delicious food. Quiet enough for fun, girly chat but buzzing with enough chatter that you know your laughter isn’t interrupting any hushed, romantic conversations.

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Lentil Soup, medjool date, celery.

Aziza offers an full a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu. Our server let us know exactly what would be brought out if we chose the tasting menu…which we did. It ended up being a ton of food! For six people, we were brought olives to share, individual portions of soup, four appetizers (two of each dish to share, so eight app servings), four entrees (again, two of each dish to share) and three desserts (again, two of each). A ton of food.

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Raw Fish, green strawberry, snap pea, seaweed.

The Moroccan influences and flavors are obvious throughout the meal, but what stood out most to me was the plays on texture combined with those flavors. Each dish contained wonderful combinations of crunchy, savory,smooth, sweet, soft, tangy, salty. As each dish was brought out, I was excited to see what new combos we’d get to experience. The menu changes often based on what’s in season and available, and the emphasis on fresh ingredients is obvious.

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.

Beet, strawberry, mi-ewe cheese, black sesame.
Basteeya, duck, raisin, almond.

Also of note, is the extensive cocktail list with flavor combinations I’ve never seen in cocktails before. Each cocktail is specifically formulated with specific liquors in mind, so know that they don’t allow you to substitute other spirits into different drinks. I have to say I really respect their sticking to their precise formulations.

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Couscous, cauliflower, pickled currants, harissa.
Salmon, corn pudding, artichoke, brown butter.
Short Rib, green charmoula, potato, carrot, wild mushrooms.

My favorites of the night –

  • Olives – I’m an olive lover in general, but the crispy parsley combined with the fruity, brined olives was a great combination of flavor and texture.
  • Spreads – We pretty much destroyed this dish. I couldn’t pick one favorite. They were all delicious combined or on their own.
  • Raw Fish – This dish was so bright, fresh and sweet, soft and crunchy.
  • Buttermilk Custard – Holy texture heaven, batman. Smooth custard, juicy fruit, crunchy grains. Love from all sides.
  • Salmon – Salmon isn’t my favorite fish, but the texture on this was so smooth. I didn’t care for the skin, but the meat itself impressed me enough that it still sticks in my mind as a favorite.

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Buttermilk Custard, maple grains, stone fruit, honey.
White Chocolate Bavarois, raspberry, hazelnut ice cream.

Tips –

  • While there is street parking available, the street is fairly busy and parking can be difficult to find at peak times. Valet parking is available right in front of the restaurant.
  • In the mood for the tasting menu? Know that your whole table must participate and the appropriate number of normal servings will be brought out for your party to share family style.
  • They will not substitute different spirits in their specialty cocktails. This was mentioned above but bears repeating. 😉

Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.Restaurant review of Aziza in San Francisco, CA.
Dark Chocolate Cake, pistachio, rose caramel, strawberry.

Aziza
5800 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA

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