We had a lovely dinner for 2 here during a recent SF trip. Thank you all for recommendations on where to eat.
Ended up choosing Mourad due to location and timing, though it was a hard choice with only one free dinner this trip and so many good choices. The family menu isn’t designed for 2 persons, but that did not stop us!
Started with two cocktails: 1) Hanseatic harbour (gin, aperol, ipa, lemon, black tea, moroccan bbq bitters, basil, orange zest). This cocktail was zesty and fresh. 2) Last act of kindness (tequila, pineau de charents, golden moon, rum, curry, preserved lemon). This drink was more savory and booze forward, with a subtle dry heat.
- EGGPLANT (cucumber, oregano, pepper, flatbread, za’atar, pine nuts). The eggplant here isn’t cooked so much that it become soggy, it still has some firmness to it. The tangy sauce was good enough that I wanted to use my finger to finish off the rest. The bread was a bit heavier than something like say Bavel in DTLA, but still very fluffy, piping hot, and tasty.
- FOIE GRAS (strawberry, pink peppercorn, rose, green papaya, brioche). I’m not a huge foie fan actually, but the liver flavor was somewhat mild, which was a positive for me. The fruit flavors on top gave a wonderfully bright offset and the strawberry even reminded me a bit of those dehydrated bits that come in Special K cereal. Sorry for that comparison! Really enjoyed this dish. Brioche was buttery and nicely toasted. I don’t think the green papaya noodles added much if anything to this dish.
(Forgot to take a pic before we dug in)
- CHICKEN (preserved lemon, gaeta olive, turmeric cipollini, marash pepper). This came with four sides, some white beans, crispy potatoes, kale, and couscous. I thought the chicken itself was pretty close to par with the Zuni Cafe chicken I had last fall. But for me this dish is even better because of those beans and the crispy potatoes. The drippings soaked bread at Zuni is pretty awesome, but this just seemed to hit the spot more and is a relatively good QPR, especially compared to some of the entrees here. We had a ton left and probably took home about half of it.
As for wine, I saw this Garnacha on the menu and had to try it. Gorgeous fruit basket nose, and a great purity of fruit since it is vinified in clay pots. Perfect ripeness for me with red and dark red fruits, yet medium abv and good freshness. There is an interesting earthiness running through the palate here that really appeals to me. Absolutely excellent wine and more intrigue than a similarly priced pinot. Wine service was good, with modern stems and proper wine temperature.
- WHITE COFFEE (dark chocolate, urfa, yuzu). Not very sweet, nice interplay of bitterness and creaminess. Maybe not a mind blowing dessert, but enjoyable way to finish off the meal.
Overall, pretty darn enjoyable and the food was at minimum very good. This restaurant is not cheap and perhaps would have felt a bit sterile for a dinner date if we had not been seated in a booth where we could sit next to one another. Plus our server was a bit cold, but we really didn’t lack for anything, so can’t complain. I have too much remaining on my SF to-do list, so it may be a while before returning, but certainly glad to have tried it.