Restaurant Profile: Morocco’s

by Max Hauser

When the Essadki brothers sought a second location for their popular San Jose restaurant Morocco’s, they chose Old Mountain View. Morocco’s MV (873 Castro Street) opened in July for dinner and weekday lunch, prompting testimonials on OMVNAtalk. Morocco’s features 150-year-old family Moroccan recipes in a white tablecloth setting.

An unusual practice that you should know about is the European-style 15% “service charge” on bills. Signs on tables alert diners to it, but the practice is unusual here and has surprised a few people. Another Morocco’s novelty is live entertainment most nights. This includes jazz, blues, Flamenco guitar, pop, international, and belly dancing. The Mountain View Voice’s calendar announces the entertainment, as does the Web site

Beet & potato salad.

In several meals I’ve found Morocco’s a source of lively fresh flavors unique even on a street with several Middle-Eastern restaurants. Unusual vegetable salads ($8.50), some of them quite hearty, are a menu strength. Many people like the beetpotato salad. The eggplant “puree” salad resembles a savory dip, good with crackers or bread. At lunch, grilled meat or shrimp skewers are an optional addition for a few dollars. Neighborhood comments have also praised the couscous courses, such as with chicken (“unexpectedly delicious!”) or spiced stewed beef, and the tagines (slow-braised specialties) including lamb and vegetables or fish and vegetables. These main courses are $12-$19 and generously sized, easily shared among a few diners. Morocco’s kitchen also makes delicious briwatts (bite-size turnovers) in bewildering variety. I’ve had them with savory fillings as appetizers, and with fruit, almond-paste, and chocolate fillings at dessert.

Appetizers and Sangria will be offered to neighborhood residents at the Morocco’s mixer party, Sunday, March 18, 4:00 – 6:30 PM. You’re invited to meet the restaurant and vice versa. For neighbors wishing to stay for dinner, Morocco’s is offering us a 4-course family-style meal that Sunday night at a special price of $25 per person plus tax and tip. (Vegetarian briwatts, lentil salad, chicken tagine, and dark chocolate briwatts.) Seating is limited, advance reservations are necessary, first-come, first-served.  For dinner reservations call Morocco’s at 650-968-1502.

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