What do you do when you’re flying into Oakland early afternoon, working in Rohnert Park early evening, and flying out of SFO the next morning? If you’re me, you take on the challenge of finding one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner that suits your crazy schedule. And that turned out to be as easy as ABC by dining at Aziza, b. Patisserie, and Cosecha.
Cosecha was ideal for a quick stop after landing in Oakland and needing to drive north. This casual restaurant has counter ordering at an affordable price, but fantastic quality. Pozole, tacos, agua fresca, and a delightful dessert surprise would make for a magnificent meal.
Cosecha’s pozole verde with hominy had nice chunks of chicken, with lime to brighten up the broth.
Two tacos: braised beef and mole verde.
I enjoyed a brief chat with chef Dominica Rice, who gifted me one of these delicious guava tarts for dessert.
Driving back late to San Francisco, Aziza was the perfect place to meet a friend for dinner just before closing. I’d heard great things about the modern Moroccan food at this restaurant, and the pastry chef had just been nominated for a Beard award. There’s certainly a sensuality to the food here, hard to capture, though, in the very dim lighting. (Apologies for the poor-quality photos!) Fresh ingredients and spectacular spicing made for a delicious meal.
Aziza’s chilled celery root soup with black garlic gelee.
Duck confit basteeya with raisin and almond. I could almost make a meal out of this crisp phyllo pie.
Inside the basteeya.
I doubled-down on duck, getting this dish of duck, potato, chard, smoked date, duck liver, and granola.
My friend’s lamb shank with barley, prune, and saffron.
For dessert, I enjoyed this black currant curd, vanilla, fennel meringue, and almond-hazelnut sable.
The next morning meant an early flight back to Seattle, but just enough time to (hurriedly) check out the then-new b. Patisserie. The “b” may stand for bustling, as business was brisk the morning of my visit. Fresh from the first of my two pastry hunts in Montreal, I was just a little disappointed with the quality. That’s what happens when the bar is set high. (I admit I’m being a tough “critic” here.) Still, I was quite satisfied with the kouign amann and croissant I ate on site (as would most anyone who’d not just come from Montreal or Paris!), and the Bostock I saved for later.
Kouign amann and croissant at b. Patisserie. The kouign amann was nice and creamy inside, but lacked enough caramelization for me. The plain croissant wasn’t as buttery as I like (such as at Besalu in Seattle), and needed more crackle in the crust.
I enjoyed the fruitiness of the passion fruit bostock.