10/12/2012 03:49:00 PM

Aziza Update: Mourad Lahlou Inks Downtown Restaurant Space

Mourad Lahlou, photo courtesy Aziza
After several hiccups, it looks like Mourad Lahlou’s dream of relocating his acclaimed Moroccan restaurant Aziza to a more sophisticated Downtown locale is finally going to happen. According the Insider Scoop, Lahlou has inked a lease as one of the two ground-floor restaurants slated to anchor the Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery St. The 26-story building is undergoing a massive renovation by developer Wilson Meany (who transformed the Ferry Building into a foodie destination) but Lahlou will be turning to architect Ollle Lundberg to design the bi-level, 200-seat space that will showcase the historic building’s elements but imbue it with Moroccan overtones.

Unlike his original plan of going even more upscale, Lahlou tells the Chronicle that the new Moroccan restaurant will showcase a more approachable menu than what’s currently at Aziza and won’t feature a tasting menu, adding, “I don’t want the space to be a shrine. I want a good vibe.” An opening date is still a year away and the name is still TBD though he hints that “Aziza” and “Mourad” are two possibilities being batted around. As for the fate of the Geary St. and 22nd Ave space that currently houses Aziza, Lahlou expects to maintain a restaurant of some kind there for some (he still has 22 years left on his lease), though he might change the name or concept (with the Scoop suggesting a potential Moroccan Jewish restaurant). For a sneak peek of Olle Lundberg’s preliminary restaurant floor plans, check out the full article

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