Location: 132 N Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. (310) 360-7535
Date: June 20, 2014
Cuisine: Modern Moroccan
Rating: Tasty and on point
After a couple of weeks eating up Vietnam, Tagine makes my return to the LA dining scene for a “last minute” informal Hedonist gathering.
The restaurant takes traditional Moroccan cuisine, and instead of serving it up in a theatrical family style manner converts it to more modern plated dishes.
From my cellar: 2012 Comte Abbatucci Ajaccio Vieilles Vignes Faustine Blanc. agavin 90 points. Very pale straw color, faint hint of green. Sweet citrus nose. Maybe some white flowers. Lots and lots of crisp acid with a slight stoney bitterness of the medium long finish. Drank with homemade pesto Genovese. At its best with the food.
A series of delicious amuses. Goat cheese and date on a spoon, a pastry with some meat filling and a lovely soup.
Bastilla. A light layer of phyllo with Cornish hen and scrambled eggs sprinkled with saffron and powdered sugar. This is one of the Moroccan classics, and the flavors in this modernist mille-feuille take on it were awesome. I still kinda like the crispy pastry texture of the original, but this was good.
Marie-Pierre Manciat Mâcon Les Morizottes. Bright bright acid. Not a bad wine, but also not really the level of Chard I usually drink.
Black tiger shrimp. Herb-crusted tiger shrimp, served with sautéed vegetables and shitake mushroom. Not the biggest shrimp in the world, but delicious!
Farmer’s market beet salad. Diced red beets and shallots, marinated in house vinaigrette. Is what it is. Good beets.
Tomato and cucumber tartar. Diced Israeli cucumbers, tomatoes, and shallots in house vinaigrette. Topped with a scoop of lemon sorbet and fresh raspberries. This was nice, a fancy version of the classic Middle Eastern salad. Still, it’s basically marinated cucumbers and tomatoes.
The bread. Lol. Shot glass bread.
2003 Martinelli Pinot Noir Russian River Valley. 89 points. Not bad at all for a new world pinot. Still pretty oaked.
Sea bass tagine. Roasted pan sea bass with fingerling potatoes and sauteed mixed peppers, topped with a lemon sauce.
Vegetarian cous cous. By all reports delicious.
Farm raised lemon chicken couscous. Marinated chicken with preserved lemon, served with couscous.
From my cellar: 1999 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva. 91 points. Fascinating, feral nose of wet fur and smokey dark Aglianico fruit. On the palate, brambly raspberry and earthy fruit with substantial tannins that soften after an hour or so. Virtually no sediment, and no sign that this is at all over the hill – still deep purple with a tiny trace of amber at the edge. Continually interesting, more rustic than refined, but not in a bad way. Delicious and well-matched with hearty food.
Lamb honey sauce tagine. Marinated lamb fore shank, finished with dates and prunes, served with couscous. Delicious, sweet and savory. Since I love sweet meat, this was great.
1992 Elderton Shiraz Single Vineyard Command. 92 points. Very nice. Still alot of fruit and oak, but turning earthy. Not a ton of spice, but drinking a bit more like a bordeaux, although alot more fruit and tasting younger than a similar age bordeaux. Best of the night (not that we had too many wines).
Colonial couscous. Quefta, lamb and chicken, served with mixed veggies and couscous.
Chocolate soup. Served with vanilla ice cream and baklava. Here the “soup” is being poured over the ice cream.
And a close up of the light crispy baklava.
The soup was delicious. It tasted like a great chocolate milkshake.
And we finished with some mint tea.
All in all, a fun evening and a tasty restaurant. They are a little pricey and “foo foo” for Moroccan, but it’s nice to try these flavors from a kitchen that is more on point. I’d be curious to see how the chef did at the same dishes in the traditional form factor.
(oh yeah, and the title refers not to a restaurant per se, but the fact that my one day in Morocco taught be that the city of Tangiers sucks — or at least their hostile “guides” do)
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