What to order at Cafe Zitouna, SF?

Went to Cafe Zitouna the other day for the first time for lunch. Tried the Loubia Tajine- lamb stew with peas in saffron sauce and thought it was ok, but not very exciting. Are there other dishes I should try? What’s your impression of the place?

Was going to order the Bastilla to go as well but only remembered it when I was about to leave, so I passed because they needed some prep time. Which was a bummer because I heard good things about it.

I get smaller things - lentil soup, brik, tuna baguette to go. All are excellent.

I wish he’d open for dinner. Hours are so weird.

I like the couscous and housemade merguez a lot - it’s simple, good, honest, no frills. Couscous might seem pretty generic but there aren’t many places that prepare it well. Either too dry, bland, etc. I guess a lot of it has to do with the wonderfully fresh premium olive oil that they use. I like to plunk dollops of harissa down and spread it around the plate which offers a nice little kick with a forkful of lamb sausage covered in couscous; that always hits the spot. Their signature bastilla is really good but it’s also pretty rich and a lot for one meal, I find. I usually tend to order it to share when I’m having lunch with several people, otherwise I can get pretty tired of it after a while. I’ve never tried it, but my wife enjoys their Moroccan eggplant spread, which is unusual because she typically doesn’t enjoy the consistency of eggplant. You can’t really go wrong with any of their tajines either. I remember their lentil soup being decent but no great shakes. I think I ended up pouring much of it over my couscous.

Thank you all- this gives me helpful pointers what I can try next time.

Do they just close as they please? Here’s their published hours:

  • Tuesday - Thursday: 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday - Sunday: 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Closed Monday
Help cover Hungry Onion's costs when you shop at Amazon!

Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr