CRAVE: Basteeya (foodie points if you know what that is)
Lunch time in the Financial District can be a mad house — how much time do you have, how much do you want to spend, is it a business meeting, can you get there without grabbing a cab that will take up half of your lunch hour.
If you find yourself around New Montgomery Street, and are over the same old sandwich or salad for lunch, it is time to make a trip to Mourad.
Even better if you can suggest it as a lunch meal to be expensed by your company (exactly what I did), as you will want to try everything and this isn’t exactly your cheap combo-meal lunch option. By combining Moroccan influences with that clean, fresh Nor Cal cuisine taste, you have a very interesting meal ahead of you.
We started with some finger foods: spiced harissa almonds and olives with preserved lemon.
Their deviled eggs are good — not a stand out or must-order, but good. Topped with cumin, pickles and chicken crackling.
Whatever you think this is, 99% chance you are wrong.
White heirloom beans with feta and a za’atar crumble. Mix and serve.
Golden rule: If there are dips and spreads on a menu, get it. Piquillo almond, yogurt dill, and eggplant tomato dips, with amazingly crunchy, yet fluffy, flatbreads.
This was unsuspecting as well. LIVER. Underneath the nectarine, maple, nuts and served with some sesame crisps. This was too weird, even the liver-lovers who ordered it at my table did not enjoy it.
Have you ever had basteeya? If not, reason enough alone to try Moroccan food. Mourad’s basteeya is a mix of sweetly spiced, moist cinnamon duck rolled into a tight, flaky filo pastry package.
If you like your chicken tender and moist, Mourad won’t fail you here either. Their chicken is crisped lightly on the outside and paired with fregola, mushrooms, olives, berbere cream and citrus.
I have one lunchtime meal companion who always gets fish if it’s on the menu, without fail. Salmon with cucumber, zucchini, roe, basil, and avocado purée.
Mourad makes its meal an art. The perfect dollops of creams, purées, and honeys play off of the main dishes to make that perfect bite. Make this your next midday lunch — or fancy evening dinner — destination.
Learn more about this spot on Mourad’s website.