Why It's Hot: The long-awaited project from chef Mourad Lahlou and chef de cuisine Chris Kajioka (formerly of Honolulu's Vintage Cave) opened at the end of January in the PacBell Building next door to Trou Normand. As with his beloved Aziza across the city (opened in 2001), the cuisine of Lahlou's native Morocco and Northern California bounty play together beautifully. But this isn't merely Aziza No. 2. While you'll find similar ethos in the plates at Mourad, it's a bit more upscale, refined.
Must-Order: The ultimate way to go may just be the tasting menu. It's a pricey $150 (plus $75 with wine pairings), but the ever-evolving menu best reflects Lahlou's innovative style and the direction he and Kajioka are going with this new restaurant. Other highlights include Melissa Chou's desserts (the celebrated Aziza pastry chef) and master sommelier Alan Murray's wine list (Murray came from Australia and worked at the legendary Rubicon under the direction of master sommelier great Larry Stone).
Insider Tip: Cocktails were created by Christ Aivaliotis and Troy Bayless of Wizard Oil Co. and the new Hawker Fare and Holy Mountain.
140 New Montgomery St.; 415-660-2500