A San-Francisco chef takes a new spin on his native Moroccan dishes:
The massive cross section of a century-old tree root at the door of Mourad is more than an impressive conversation piece; it’s an analogy for one of the most anticipated restaurants to open in San Francisco in several years.
“I wanted to show that the root of everything that we do is Moroccan,” says chef-owner Mourad Lahlou. “You are uprooting something that’s old and traditional, examining it and looking at it in a new light.”
It’s also an apt symbol of Lahlou’s path to becoming one of the Bay Area’s most respected chefs, a story of how he went from a homesick student opening his first restaurant with no training, to presiding over an important space in the historic Pacific Telephone Building that has as much significance to the city as the tree root, felled in an Indonesian forest fire, does to him.
For the restaurant’s design, he collaborated with architect Olle Lundberg to create a modern interpretation of his homeland. The inspiration was the legendary night market in Marrakesh, interpreted through a 21st century San Francisco eye. The result is breathtakingly beautiful, combining traditional, industrial and artistic elements…[Full Story]