This glamorous outpost at the base of the PacBell building introduces the unique soul of Chef/owner Mourad Lahlou's second restaurant-one that is a contemporary departure from Aziza. The area's food-obsessed techies flock to the boldly designed space, replete with soaring ceilings, glowing central columns, and a superb (suspended) wine cellar. The servers may not know the menu inside out, but a good sommelier and live music keep the crowds contented and lively. Chef Lahlou is at his best when reinterpreting modern Moroccan cuisine with ingredients such as za'atar, harissa, and dates. Begin with the subtle and original combination of nicely charred octopus accented with an herbaceous oil, chili powder, and diced merguez, alongside an unctuous purée mixing chickpeas, citrus, and olives. Be sure to order the main courses in true Moroccan style, as shareable platters with plenty of sauces and sides. A remarkable take on lamb loin is cooked to perfection and intensely flavored with spiced black olives, surrounded by deliciously crunchy flatbreads. Desserts embrace deconstruction and fusion, perhaps built on the powerful flavors of dark chocolate, jasmine cream, and ginger crumble.
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