To get a better idea of its flavor, you can have it as a lightly sweetened drink, a kind of Middle Eastern limeade whose sunset color won't give you any sort of clue as to what it's made of.
The masgouf ($11) features a subtly seasoned, butterflied trout a freshwater fish (often sustainably farmed now) whose pinkish flesh is reminiscent of salmon. The freshwater angle is appropriate here, since Iraqis tend to grill fish taken from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and it also lends the final result a certain similarity to gravlax. The rest of the plate consists of a heap of rice, another of tomato-eggplant compote, and a colorful honor guard of cauliflower and broccoli florets and carrot and yellow summer squash coins, all steamed and arranged around the periphery.
For dessert (assuming you don't want the kelecha or had them earlier on), how about kahi ($5), a pair of fried pastry triangles, like a child's set of military hats from the 18th century, bronzed for posterity? They are stuffed with cardamon whipped cream (which has a cheesy-thick texture, neither pleasant nor unpleasant) and are set afloat on a small red sea of raspberry purée, which is nearly an event in itself. Bright, too.
Dinner: Mon.Thurs., 59 p.m.; Fri.Sun., 510 p.m.
Lunch: daily, 11 a.m.2 p.m.
1775 Fulton, SF
Beer and wine
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