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July 2007

Molly Freedenburg

BEST MOROCCAN IN A MARTINI GLASS

Everything at swanky, sexy Richmond District restaurant Aziza is delicious and surprising, as chef Mourad Lahlou adapts classic Moroccan cuisine to a modern, fine-dining palate. The results, such as prawn tajine and smoky eggplant spread, are spectacular, but what Aziza does better than just about anyone else is create innovative and inspiring cocktails. The bar and the kitchen collaborate on these herb-infused concoctions, so the drink menu changes according to what’s in season. A kefir and cardamom mojito, a margarita made with rose blossom water, a fresh pomegranate mimosa – all have passed through our grateful lips. A cocktail menu like this might seem gimmicky or pretentious, but these folks know what they’re doing – after all, Moroccan mixologists have been brewing up marvelous mint teas for just about ever – and manage to combine organic liquors, high-end champagnes, fresh herbs, and even tea leaves with an expertise usually reserved for entrées.