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Michael Bauer

April 4, 2004

AZIZA

Trend watchers say that Moroccan is one of the next great cuisines waiting to be discovered in the United States, but any new restaurant would have to do a lot to improve on what’s being served by chef-owner Mourad Lahlou. He uses his homeland for inspiration, but has modernized the cuisine with lighter techniques and cooking methods. Each of the three dining rooms has a different mood, so you can take your pick. Belly dancers make short appearances, but they don’t detract from the true star: the food.

Cuisine: Moroccan
Specialities: Five-course tasting menu ($39); bastilla; saffron Cornish hen with preserved lemon and olives; kumquat-enriched lamb shank; lavender honey-braised squab.
Seats: 138
Prices: $10-$20
Noise: AAA
Parking: Valet $8-$10
Vitals: 5800 Geary Blvd. (at 22nd Ave.), San Francisco; (415) 752-2222. Dinner Wednesday-Monday. Full bar. Reservations and credit cards accepted.