Fassia in San Mateo
three of us had dinner at Fassia on 25th Ave in San Mateo Friday evening. We liked it.
We ordered two appetizers: Merguez sausage and Briouat b'jaban (herbed goat cheese wrapped in phyllo dough and fried).They each came with a serving of mesclun salad, so we didn't have to order salad separately (our son doesn't eat anything green, so two salads were all we needed.)the flavors were great -- the phyllo dough was a bit more greasy than ideal, but certainly acceptable. The sausage was very good, with a subtle difference from the merguez I'm used to, but I couldn't place what the difference was.
My spouse had the B'stilla Fassia for her entree. She loved it-- it's bastilla, but using duck instead of chicken. The sweetness was suitably subtle -- just right. I had lamb tagine with artichokes. Again, subtlety is the word -- I think I detected a faint hint of rose on the first bite. Very tender and tasty. Big chunks of artichoke heart. Our son had the lamb kebabs. He didn't say anything but cleaned his plate -- fairly unusual for him. They came with fries. And hot sauce which he didn't even try, but my spouse pronounced good. The bread they served was very fresh hot rolls subtly flavored with anise -- and we all kept asking for more, even the kid. We shared one dessert-- a honey nougat "ice cream" that was very impressive.
the woman who waited on us was warm and pleasant but not overly talkative. Great.
We were shocked that the place was nearly empty on a Friday night. Perhaps it was the price. I think our bill (a glass of sparkling wine and a soft drink included) came to about $120 including tax.
We would recommend this place.
Thanks, Kim, for starting a post on Fassia! I had been meaning to do so since over a week ago. DH and I had been to its previous incarnation, Cafe Tradition, a couple of times before and had thought that we would have preferred a more Moroccan restaurant--a rarity in these parts.
After dinner at Fassia, I'm glad that the owners made the change and feel that the restaurant is the better for it. We shared the trio of Moroccan salads: a small scoop each of spinach, carrot, and eggplant purées, mildly spiced--very nice with warm bread. I finally got my b'stilla and DH had his lamb tagine, and we were very happy with our respective choices. I personally prefer a fattier, moister cut of lamb for stew, but DH likes lean meat. The duck b'stilla was delectable--the crisp phyllo exterior lightly sweetened and delicately seasoned with cinnamon. The shredded duck, topped with tender egg curds, is an improvement over the more usual chicken. I will certainly be back for more b'stilla though I'd like to share it as a first course so that I can try something new--like lamb with prunes, as a main. I would have liked dessert, but we were both too full.