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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Chef-owner Mourad Lahlou's California-Moroccan food boasts a healthy dose of modernity that keeps locals coming back for his unique flavors and thoughtfully sourced ingredients. Diners enjoy inspired and gorgeously plated first courses that are always changing with the seasons, like big fin squid with artichoke, citrus, piquillo, and olive, or sweetbreads with winter squash, cornichon, and marash pepper. The main courses are equally elegant, ranging from squab with smoked farro to lamb shank with a kumquat glaze and cranberry couscous. The basteeya is one delicious holdover from the restaurant's earlier rustic days. Desserts here are as sophisticated as the savory dishes. The attractive three-room dining area, done in blue, saffron, and white, is a warm, inviting sea of tiles, arches, and candlelight. The wine list is very food-friendly, with some organic and biodynamic options, while cocktail enthusiasts can pick from more than two dozen inspired drinks that use ingredients like tarragon, kaffir lime, and cumin.
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