Nojo

Nojo is Chef Greg Dunmore’s Yakitori (Kushiyaki) restaurant on Franklin at Linden in Hayes Valley. Thank goodness for another thoughtful and simple, but great Japanese eatery. This dining place complements the budding proliferation of Izakaya places around the city, such as Izakaya Sozai (Sunset) and Izakaya Yuzuki (Mission.)

Big windows provide great lighting for this spartan dining room. With the beautification of Franklin street (read: New trees), the view to the outside is improved, too. There are the usual tables in addition to the counter dining. An average yakitori place in Tokyo is smoky Continue reading

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Quatro Ceviche by bloompy
Quatro Ceviche, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

Sunset district near the UCSF Campus, along Irving Street and 9th Avenue, has always been a wonderful place for gastronomical exploration. What the area lacks in fine dining is compensated by plethora of comfort food places.

Many eateries have come and gone, but there are those who had been there for more than two decades now: Italian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Eritrean restaurants have existed Continue reading

Dumplings and Buns

Dumplings and Buns by bloompy
Dumplings and Buns, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

Earlier this morning while looking for La Boulangerie in the Fillmore area, I wasn’t sure whether it was on Pine St or California St. As I walked a few steps on California Street past the Fillmore intersection, I came across a place I had never seen before. Granted, I have not been in this area for a while now, coming here occasionally for Curbside Café or Delfina Pizzeria, and even that was already more than a year ago.

Dumplings and Buns sounds very much an Asian fare, but looking at the façade and a quick peek through the glass window into the interior revealed no clue of what to make of the place. For sure it was not a traditional dumpling place, although one side of the store’s Continue reading

Mourad Lahlou: A Triple Threat

Aziza San Francisco fans will be delighted to read about their favorite homegrown Chef at a recent article in the New York Times. Chef Lahlou will be a triple threat with his first book coming out this Fall (“Mourad: New Moroccan” by the book publisher Artisan), his new restaurant in the San Francisco Financial District opening early 2012, and a KQED series on Moroccan cuisine and culture broadcasting next year.

Aziza

Hibiscus and Kaffir Lime made into SodaCarrot Soup, Pre-BrothCarrot Soup, Poured at Table SideLentil Soup with Medjool Date and CelerySpreads of Bean-Paprika, Yogurt-Dill, and Piquillo Almond, Served with Flat Bread
Mackerel with Escabèche, Potato, Eggplant, and CucumberBranzino with Leek, Manila Clams, Crispy Potato, and Olive OilSunchoke with Porridge, Beech Mushroom, Broccoli Rabe, and Hibiscus Salt.

Aziza , a set on Flickr.

Chef Mourad Lahlou is restless. And that’s a good thing.

Because ever since he did away with the Moroccan restaurant formulae, such as the belly dancing, the table-side hand-washing, and the mandatory lamb shank, he has only gone up and up and up.

First came the exciting experimentation with the local resources that have always been available to him. Then came the Iron Chef victory (against Cat Cora), followed by the much coveted Michelin Star (for 2010 and 2011). The Fall of 2011 will witness the publication of Continue reading