South San Francisco may not be (even close) to a Bay Area town you think of for dining but this newcomer (opened March 9) is worth a trip. In fact, even during our recent rush hour visit, it was only a 15 minute drive from SoMa and is a short jaunt from SFO airport. Amoura Restaurant, owned by the Shihadeh family, recalls Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare in the fresh, modern vein of Ottolenghi in London. On top of that, they have the largest selection of arak a traditional, Middle Eastern anise-based liquor we’ve seen anywhere: 45 bottles and counting.
In addition to sourcing the arak collection, beverage director and general manager Malcolm Brownson (from a diverse range of places, including The Commissary, RN74 and Spago) created the cocktail menu (fantastically priced at $8-9 each), California craft beers and a wine list that features rarities from Lebanon, Greece, Croatia and other countries that line the Mediterranean Sea. Consulting chef is David Wilcox (formerly of Mill Valley Beerworks and Gjelina in LA) who created the initial menu and is now working with chef Oscar Molinar (formerly of Bar Tartine, The Coachman) who was just confirmed to take over the kitchen on Amoura’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare, featuring rare spices, Medjool dates from Jericho and rare grains like freekeh from Jenin City in Palestine. They also work with humane, organic, local purveyors like BN Ranch, Water2Table and County Line Harvest, while the spacious dining room and bar faces an open kitchen sporting a pita oven and rotisserie.
Here’s a walk through 10 notable drinks and dishes on the opening menu.
713 Linden Ave., South San Francisco; 650-754-6891
This not just another hummus dish. In fact, Wilcox’ hummus ($12) easily signifies what is in store dining here. Hummus on grilled toasts feels both Middle Eastern and Californian at the same time, bright with jalapeno and cilantro, radishes and sunchokes. It’s an immediate standout.
Two of Brownson’s standout drinks reflect a spectrum of flavor. Cypress ($9 – pictured right) is smoky and bracing yet also refreshing with mezcal, cayenne salt, orange and agave syrup. California Soul ($8) is soft, floral and herb-laden with Bombay Sapphire gin, Greenbar Grand Poppy organic liqueur, lemon, egg white and parsley.
Another stellar small plate (quite filling and generous for merely $8) is Wilcox’s avocado and roasted carrots dish. Tossed with cucumber, dill and feta, it plays both lush and healthy simultaneously.The tablets are facilitated with lucrative purchase benefits. online viagra australia This means that a person is able to get an erection, or lose one prematurely during sexual activity, others completely fail to get an erection even after being sexually levitra price stimulated. These companies are developing super active cialis market strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, Joint Venture, New product development and Expansion to increase their market share in Global Functional Beverages Market. Since I began my management career, I’ve given people high levitra india price degrees of autonomy.
A spinach, almonds and smoked black cod salad ($10) is unique and gratifying. The smoked cod gives the salad depth, while a charred lemon dressing partners well with the smoke but adds a zippy brightness, balanced by a touch of honey. The salad’s smoky-sweet notes go surprisingly well with Brownson’s pairing of a glass of sweet 2012 Saxon Brown Semillon ($10).
The Lexi ($8) is a bourbon whiskey-based cocktail that walks the line of soft and elegant with vanilla, sumac and frothy egg white.
Just try and resist a side of fried potato wedges ($5), crispy and addictive, doused in za’atar spices and dipped in harissa aioli.
Whole grilled branzino ($25) transports to the Mediterranean coast, aromatic with roasted garlic and olives, fennel and preserved lemon. Brownson pulls out another unexpected pairing: 2010 Acquagiusta Rosso ($12 per glass) from Maremma, Italy. This intriguing red blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah is actually light-yet-fruity, subtle with earth and salinity and plenty of acidity to make it work with fish. As the most expensive menu item, it is easily shareable.
For the Cosmo and “tini” lovers out there, Brownson’s nod is the Hibiscus Martini ($8), a drink that still appeals to the non-vodka drinkers among us. Svedka Vodka, vanilla syrup and Brownson’s lime soda intermingle with hibiscus-infused Lillet Blanc and a few drops of hibiscus essential oil. It’s dry, floral, refreshing, with silky texture from the oil.
Slices of cured trout ($12) are served with roasted beets, pickled fennel and coriander for a clean, light starter that recalls the Middle East and even Scandinavian food.