Another brilliant use for pears

March 7, 2008 at 9:02 am (food, moroccan, restaurants, review, san francisco)

I went to Aziza for the first time last night. It was recommended by a number of people. I may be getting too used to the high quality of food in San Francisco because while the food was very well done, Aziza didn’t wow me enough to be very memorable among San Francisco restaurants. We had a goat cheese, tomato jam appetizer (they gave us a huge chunk of goat cheese, more than I buy for myself at once, but Mark amazingly did a good job polishing it off), I had a scallop dish with lemon saffron rice and pea shoots and chanterelles (the scallops had an inappropriately fishy taste, but other than that, it was very tasty), and Mark had a couscous with an assortment of root vegetables (sophisticated and deep flavors). All very nice, in general, but nothing knocked me over… until the dessert.

I must be feeling a need to try anything with pears, maybe because of the lost pear, bacon, and cheddar sandwich. They have a pear frangipane tart on their menu. It came with bitter almond ice cream and huckleberries. That part was okay. But the tart seriously blew me away with how creative and perfect it was. The pears were thinly sliced and caramelized on top and created a creme brulee-like top but with the added texture and flavor of pear. The frangipane part was so delicate and soft and light, with just the right amount of almond flavor. It was almost cakey, but it had the more dense and chewy texture of almond paste. I don’t know how such a combination of textures can be achieved. The bottom was a well-executed perfect short-dough crust. So brilliantly simple and brilliantly mind-blowing all at the same time.

The waitress was also lovely enough to give us a pot of mint tea that was orphaned. Thanks! I hope the tea was as grateful to be adopted as we were in adopting it. I often find that mint teas are sweetened too much, but this was just mint. Plus, the teapot had the most perfect spout ever. I haven’t figured out how to make a spout that pours well and doesn’t drip. I enjoyed the spout on this teapot so much that I kept pouring the tea over and over again. I imagined that other people watching me thought that I was drugged up, but it really was so fascinating. Not a single drop dripped.

And they also had really nicely shaped bowl and plates. Very deep and round. Beautiful for presenting food, but kinda hard to eat out of because you had to angle your knife in order to cut anything at the bottom of the bowls’ large basins.

Ha ha, my restaurant reviews have turned into reviews of the food and of the dinnerware! Maybe that can be my schtick.

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2 Comments

  1. Simona said,

    Did you ever tell me you had a blog? It looks like I found it anyway. I have few good memories of my time in Morocco and mint tea is one of them. I am not surprised you fell in love with the teapot. And the dinnerware is part of the restaurant experience.

  2. babblingblueberry said,

    I haven’t been posting regularly. And I recently moved it to this location. I’ll try to post more often and not have so many breaks.

    I’ve been to a few Moroccan restaurants where they raise the teapot up and down while they pour so that the air gets filled with the aromas from the tea. That’s fun. I tried that myself and wound up spilling tea all over the table.

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