Aicha - Page 2

Are tagines the unicorns of the food world? This Moroccan spot turns them out with authentic flair
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Photo by Rory McNamara

But if you served these at a party, you would run out in five minutes.

Possibly even tastier, though not quite as finger-friendly, is taktouka ($4), a plateful of grilled red bell pepper squiggles tossed with some tomato, olive oil, and what the menu cryptically calls "spices." Cumin was in there, certainly, but grilled peppers have such a distinctive and alluring flavor that they don't really need much else.

Somewhat less impressive — yet at the top of the appetizer price scale — was an artichoke salad ($6) consisting of pickled artichoke hearts, peppery green olives, crumblings of feta, and lots of immaculate romaine leaves. Lots. The romaine was too much with us and diluted the potency of other players.

It was thought that the b'stilla ($6), a pizzetta-sized round of phyllo stuffed with pistachio chicken and dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon, was a little too cinnamony. (Frasier's Dr. Niles Crane, complaining about a Café Nervosa cappuccino: "Can you believe the incompetence of that man? I very clearly asked for a whisper of cinnamon, and he's given me a full-throated shout!") But a lamb tagine ($9) — tender shanks on the bone, surrounded by little green hills of peas and artichoke hearts — was all a heart could desire, even if the plate arrived topless.

AICHA

Daily, 11:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m.

1303 Polk, SF

(415) 345-9947

www.aichasf.com

Credit cards pending; call ahead and bring cash

Hard surfaces mean noise

Wheelchair accessible

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