Here's the latest in SF food news: An acclaimed Moroccan restaurant will reopen after a three-year hiatus, an Eastern European restaurant debuts in the Mission, and a Michelin-starred ramen eatery opens in SoMa soon.
Aziza (5800 Geary Blvd.)
Big news for Aziza fans: Mourad Lahlou plans to reopen his renowned Moroccan restaurant in the Outer Richmond. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Aziza will be reborn on October 14 in its original space at 5580 Geary Blvd.
Aziza debuted in 2001, featuring a take on Moroccan cuisine that put Lahlou on the national culinary map — it's the first Moroccan restaurant in the country to receive a Michelin star. It closed for minor repairs in 2016 but after several delays and complications, the building went under a major renovation.
In 2017, Lahlou announced plans to open Mexican-Moorish restaurant called Amara in Aziza’s place. However, would-be Chef Gabe Maldonado left the project to go run the kitchen at Gibson, and Lahlou since decided to go back to his roots and serve his take on Moroccan food in its old home.
Returning patrons will notice that the overall design and aesthetic doesn't look quite like it did before the renovation, but Lahlou told Eater SF that the new and improved space will have the “soul it had when it was Aziza.”
The menu will include some old favorites, such as the popular basteeya (a flaky Moroccan-style pot pie), but it will also evolve, and feature larger, shared dishes.
Dear Inga (3580 18th St.)
Partners Jeff Hanak (Nopa, Nopalito and Liholiho Yacht Club), Ravi Kapur (chef and co-owner of Liholiho Yacht Club and Louie's Gen-Gen Room) and executive chef/partner David Golovin opened the restaurant's doors on Tuesday. Named after Golovin’s grandmother, the restaurant specializes in Eastern European food made with California produce and inspired by local cooking techniques.
Golovin, previously of Village Pub in Woodside, Rubicon SF, and Citron, as well as other restaurants in the Bay Area, has created a menu that melds his Eastern European background with influences from his travels to Georgia. His approach uses smoking techniques, fermentation and live-fire cooking and includes menu items such as house-made bratwurst, sauerkraut, house mustard, smoked sturgeon, cured salmon, pickled mussels, German potato salad, seeded rye, and farmer’s cheese.
Wines from Central and Eastern Europe, specifically Georgia, Armenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria, as well as selections from local California producers such as Matthiasson and Bedrock Vineyard, are currently offered.
The cocktail program features drinks like the schrute with manzanilla, beet shrub, and kümmel; and burnt honey with sparkling wine, cynar and honey syrup.
Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tsuta (155 4th St. at the Metreon)
The world’s first Michelin-starred ramen eatery, Tsuta, will open is San Francisco on October 20 at the Metreon.
Chef /Owner Yuki Onishi’s menu will offer three types of noodle: Shoyu soba (made with black truffle sauce), Shio soba, and Miso soba.
Each bowl of ramen will come with slices of succulent chashu and various garnishes such as mitsuba (Japanese parsley), leeks, hosaki menma, red onions, green olives, corn, bean sprouts, and more. Prices will start at at $12 per bowl. For drinks, Tsuta will offer a selection of sodas and tea.
Sides will include Ro-su Chashu, Aburi Niku, Tori Karaage, edamame and various rice dishes.
Chef Onishi said he plans to offer a San Francisco-inspired dish in the future.
“There are many delicious, noteworthy ramen shops in the Bay Area, so I felt that this was the natural choice for our first U.S. eatery," Chef Onishi said in a statement. "I'm inspired by the local culinary talent and the energy of this city, and I am excited to introduce Tsuta to San Francisco."
Starting on October 20, it will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
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