Review: Mourad 2.0.

One of my top meals of 2015 was chef Mourad Lahlou‘s second restaurant in San Francisco, Mourad (read my review here) which received a Michelin star for 2016. Tommy and I came here last March and were absolutely blown away by the food so we decided to come again but this time for his birthday.

Every item of the menu sounds amazing so choosing what dishes to order can be rough. They offer either a tasting menu or à la carte menu with small bites/appetizers, entrées, and la’acha (large family style dishes with sides). Last time we mostly ordered appetizers and a few entrées so this time we were intrigued to try a la’acha dish. Since la’acha dishes are supposed to serve 2-6 people, depending on which dish you order, the prices are substantially higher. However these larger family style dishes do come with four sides as well.

Kanpachi with Avocado, Asian Pear, Wild Rice, Ginger Beer Foam, and Finger Lime (8/10).

We started off with the kanpachi crudo, a very unique dish with unusual flavors: avocado cream on the bottom of the plate with raw pieces of kanpachi, crunchy wild rice, sweet crisp asian pear, zesty finger lime, and topped with a ginger beer froth.

Salmon with Sunchokes, Seaweed, Cilantro, and Curry (8.5-9/10).

The lacquered salmon was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The fish had an amazing crust on the exterior yet still was flaky and moist served with earthy roasted sunchokes, pickled shimeji mushrooms, and crunchy quinoa topped with seaweed. Strange ingredients but somehow worked harmoniously.

Duck Confit Basteeya with Blackberry, Hearts of Palm, and Crème Fraîche (8.5-9/10).

Of course we had to order one of their signature dishes, the duck basteeya, a traditional Moroccan dish. Flaky phyllo dough stuffed with tender duck meat with tart blackberries and crunchy hearts of palm. Definitely order this.

Lamb Loin with Black Olive, Pumpkin, Celery Root, Dried Mandarin, and Rye (7/10).

Now my least favorite dish of the night was the lamb entrée. While the lamb loin was cooked perfectly (medium rare with a nice char on the outside), the dish all together lacked something. All the ingredients weren’t coming together as the previous dishes had.

La’acha Dish: Whole Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Olives, and Marash (8.5/10).

Sauces for the Chicken/Side Dishes.

Side Dish: Potatoes with Pickled Onions and Buttermilk Foam (8/10).

Side Dish: Kale with Citrus (8/10).

Side Dish: Brown Butter Couscous (7/10).

Side Dish: Heirloom Beans with Tomato, Feta Cheese, and Za’atar Crumble (8.5/10).

The Beans Were So Good!

Our main course, the la’acha family style dish was pretty delicious. The whole roasted chicken was tender and juicy and flavored with preserved lemon (so tasty) and olives. Simple but well executed. The three sauces served with the chicken were also outstanding. All the accompanying side dishes were also on point, my favorite being the stewed white beans with tomato, Feta cheese, and za’atar crumble. Delicious!

“Honey and Almond” with Beeswax, Granita, and Orange Blossom (8.5/10).

Sugar Puffs with Apple Sauce and Baharat Caramel (8/10).

Spongecake with Pineapple, Pineapple Ice Cream, Cilantro, and Rum (8/10).

Petit Fours (8/10).

Now the desserts at Mourad are definitely on the creative side. We tried their signature dessert last time, the “honey and almond”, and loved it so I had to order it again! The sugar puffs, essentially donuts, were actually very light and served with two kinds of amazing sauces. Lastly, the spongecake with pineapple was also a light dessert with pineapple ice cream and herb cilantro to garnish.

Birthday Boy!

Once again, Mourad didn’t disappoint. The food here is not only beautiful and creative but tastes freakin’ amazing. Mourad is still one of the hottest restaurants in San Francisco serving up phenomenal food so my rating is still a 8.5-9/10.

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