Just before the new year we had hints that Mourad Lahlou's new restaurant at 140 New Montgomery, named Mourad, was getting close to opening, and a few weeks later it has happened. Last night was the big opening for the high-end, downtown spinoff of the Michelin-starred, Aziza, marking the first time that Outer Richmond-averse foodinistas will get to experience Lahlou's Morroccan-inflected food.
As the Chron reported over the weekend, Lahlou's been working on this new project for three years. He's named it for himself with some hesitation, after naming his first restaurant after his mother, but he insists it's not about ego, and "it still feels weird to hear the name as a restaurant, not the person."
The style of the restaurant is a little more casual and modern than the more secluded, romantic, fine dining nature of Aziza which will remain open but will undergo some renovations soon. As you can see on the menu below, there are currently three large-format "family repast" dishes for the table: roast chicken, lamb shoulder, and beef short ribs. These are served, in Moroccan style, with a bevy of condiments and side dishes, and for those who don't feel like dining this way there are a half dozen single-serving entree choices as well. And, there's a tasting menu option for $150 per person. See some preview food porn via Ulterior Epicure here.
The big, sleek, high-ceilinged space is next door to Trou Normand in the newly renovated, historic Telephone & Telegraph Building that is now Yelp's headquarters, and the restaurant was designed by renowned local architect Olle Lundberg, including nods to Morrocco in the floor tiles and Marrakesh-inspired chandeliers.
The cocktail program comes from Wizard Oil Co. duo Christ Aivaliotis and Troy Bayless who also are doing the drinks at the newly open Hawker Fare.
In related news, the Chron also reported that Lahlou and his chef de cuisine Chris Kajioka, an Aziza alum who recently returned from elsewhere, are plotting a project together in Honolulu, so stay tuned for more on that.
Mourad - 140 New Montgomery - 415-660-2500 - Open daily for lunch and dinner (weekends are dinner only, for now)