Aziza to reopen in the Outer Richmond next week after 3-year closure

The newly designed private dining room at Aziza. | Photos: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on October 16, 2019.

After a three-year closure, Outer Richmond Moroccan restaurant Aziza (5800 Geary Blvd.) is set to reopen its doors next week. 

Helmed by chef Mourad Lahlou (and named for Lahlou's mother), the restaurant first opened in 2001, and has been widely celebrated over the years for its Cal-Moroccan cuisine — it was the first Moroccan restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star (in 2010).

But after Lahlou opened his downtown restaurant Mourad (140 Montgomery St.) in 2015, Aziza faced a difficult crossroads. Lahlou closed the restaurant in early 2016 for what he thought would be minor repairs, only to discover it needed a major renovation. 

As the building was gutted and the interior completely remodeled, Lahlou went back and forth over what to do with the space. For a time, he was planning to open a "Moorish-Mexican" restaurant called Amara. But he ultimately decided the best move was to revive Aziza.

On October 21 (a revised date since Lahlou's original announcement of October 14), Aziza will reopen with an entirely new look.

While the old restaurant was darker, with deep orange walls and windows inspired by Moroccan design, the new interior is light and modern, with white Venetian plaster paired with dark wood floors and accented by teal and plum-hued tiling.

The main dining room. 

The main dining room now has higher ceilings and more natural light, and the 15-seat curved bar has been given its own room, separate from the dining room.

The back room, now a private dining area, has plush green banquettes and palm-print wallpaper.

The bar area.

The menu will combine some favorite dishes from the old Aziza with newer items. From the old menu, diners can expect to see the chicken basteeya  (phyllo dough pie) with almond and caramelized onion, the hand-rolled couscous and the beef cheek tagine with spiced root vegetable jam and preserved apricot.

New additions will include more shareable plates, both small and large. 

The reincarnated Aziza will also offer brunch, with dishes like shakshuka with kefta meatballs, sweet potato, and spicy tomato, or Moroccan pancakes served with stone fruit compote and orange blossom butter.

Chicken basteeya. | Photo: Courtesy of Aziza

“The food at Aziza will facilitate a communal environment, fostering a bond over the depth of flavors," Lahlou said in a statement. "My hope is that each dish sparks conversation.”

Aziza will be open seven days a week for dinner from 5:30-10 p.m., starting October 21. Brunch will be offered Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

About 11 hours ago
San Francisco Cole Valley Upper Haight

Developers host planning meeting for 730 Stanyan affordable housing project this evening

Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., developers of the 100% affordable housing project slated for construction at 730 Stanyan Street will host a third community meeting for area residents, to answer questions, reveal further information about potential site design, and solicit feedback. Read More

Oct 28, 2020
San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Russian Hill

Remembering The Mandarin, the Ghirardelli Square mecca of regional Chinese cuisine

San Francisco food icon Cecilia Chiang, proprietor of the legendary Mandarin restaurant, died Wednesday at the age of 100, and with her goes a century of taste memories and a long lifetime of stories spanning two continents and multiple wars. Read More

Oct 27, 2020
San Francisco Civic Center Mid-Market Tenderloin

PianoFight opens new virtual venue to raise funds for its future

The team behind PianoFight is launching a virtual venue this week with a fundraising event that aims to let attendees mingle and interact safely from their own homes. Read More

Oct 27, 2020
San Francisco Castro

Castro CBD announces plan for security camera town hall & online survey

Last week the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (Castro CBD) announced plans to seek immediate community feedback regarding a controversial proposal to install a private network of security cameras. Read More