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Aziza for Dinner - Recs and Advice por favor!

As a native San Franciscan who is currently living in Washington DC, I am excited about taking a trip back to my hometown in a couple of weeks! My chowhound Aunt has made reservations at Aziza and I know absolutely nothing about it. Any thoughts? Recommendations? Things to stay away from (if there are any?)

Thank you! I'm SO EXCITED to come back home!!!

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  1. Great choice. One of the best restaurants in town. I like to do the 5 course tasting menu, which gets you a great selection of warm pita and amazing spreads, your choice of an appetizer, the chicken bastilla which is literally heaven on a plate, your choice of entree (the lamb shank is out of this world and I'm not even a lamb person), and dessert (which usually involves some of their incredible homemade ice creams). This tasting menu usd to be only $55 (although I haven't been in about 8 months so it may be more now) and was IMHO the best bang for your buck in SF.

    1. PulledPork pretty much just said everything I was going to say.

      The tasting menu has indeed since increased to $62 (not surprising as they just got a Michelin star), but is indeed still worth it. Make sure to get a cocktail. I wasn't as much of a fan of the desserts, but definitely get the lamb shank, bastilla, and spreads.

      1. Totally concur on what Pulled Pork and Vulber had to say; definitely go with the tasting menu and my favorite cocktail is the Cacha├ža with Cardamom (this is the only restaurant in town where I don't bother with the wine list). My favorites on the menu are the lamb shank, rabbit, and anything with fish.

        2 Replies
        1. re: CarrieWas218

          Really? the ONLY restaurant in town where you don't bother with the wine list? That seems a bit strong; the Alembic is one off the top of my head that I can think of where I wouldn't bother with the wine list; in a similar vein to Aziza, any of the Baobab restaurants.

          1. re: vulber

            I only go to Alembic for cocktails -- not especially thrilled with the food so I see it more as a cocktail joint for me versus a destination restaurant.

        2. I third or fourth the lamb shank & keep hearing about their incredible bastilla. Great cocktails & I agree with vulber that desserts didn't shine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ceekskat

            To be fair, the desserts are still very good, just not "wow"-worthy

            1. re: vulber

              I've loved a few of the desserts I've had at Aziza. Indeed, though granted it was a while ago, the lemon basil ice cream I had there made my 'top ten tastes' list for 2007:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4682...

          2. Like everyone else has said, the lamb shank and the spreads are fantastic. I've liked every drink I've tried (which is most likely because I pick ones where I love all the ingredients!) The lima beans are addictive, and I'm also a fan of the goat cheese with tomato jam. The only thing I have been consistently unimpressed with is the seafood. I've tried the mackerel, halibut, and scallops, and they all paled in comparison to the rest of the dishes. I also thought the couscous with chicken. prawns, etc was a little boring and underseasoned. Other than those few dishes, everything I've had there has been fantastic!

            1. While the tasting menu is good, it's also a lot of food, so I think you'd be fine if you didn't order that and just ordered an entree and some appetizers to share. I love the spreads, and the last time I was there I shared the lamb meatballs as an appetizer, and those were great (with grapes, I think). Anything lamb there is good, though be warned, most of the meat dishes are on the sweet side (many are cooked with fruit) so if you don't like that, you should make a different choice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JasmineG

                I agree that the tasting menu is a lot of food, particularly if you are watching the budget or your waist line. I don' t go the tasting menu route at Aziza (although they are participating in Dine About Town, so that would be worth checking out if the dates work.) Contrary to the experience of a previous poster, I've had really good luck with seafood/fish dishes there. The cocktails are a no miss if you like such, particularly the cilantro.

                1. re: susancinsf

                  concur. Aziza is excellent for Dine About Town. Their DAT menu is probably one of the most varied menus available of all the DAT restaurants participating.

              2. The lamb shank is too sweet for my taste, unless he's changed the recipe.

                1. The lamb meatballs with grilled grapes, as an appetizer, are a must. I have gone back just for that. It is served with a lovely jicama salad, that I have tried to recreate, unsuccessfully.
                  Yum.