Friday, August 22, 2014

Mamounia Authentic Moroccan Cuisine - Anaheim

Judy has been communicating with a friend from her AP work in Louisville about Morocco, a place they visited recently and which is on our travel radar. Her friend has been experimenting with Moroccan cooking and Judy has been getting Moroccan recipes on-line and contemplating some Moroccan dishes that look good. So, with that on our mind, we had to try some Moroccan restaurant food, something we've not experienced before, or at least recently. Mamounia Authentic Moroccan Cuisine in Anaheim, California, on Katella Avenue, had the best reviews on Yelp for Moroccan food in the Los Angeles area.  
The restaurant itself is decorated inside like a large tent, with drapery on the ceiling, colorful fabric on couches and chairs, lots of rugs on the floor, and lots of Moroccan related artwork. Our host and waiter was from the Atlas Mountain region of Morocco, between Fez and Marrakesh, the area Judy's friend visited, and an area intriguing to us. At the end of our meal he sat down by us and told us about Morocco, the friendly people, that region, and encouraged us to go there.  

At the beginning we told him we were interested in trying the Moroccan cuisine in general and he volunteered to bring us a sampler of appetizers and never charged us for it. The sampler plate included: (a)  Zaalouk, a cooked salad with eggplant, tomato, garlic and olive oil; (b) Moroccan carrot salad, which is boiled and marinated carrots in a mixture of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and various herbs and spices; (c) a cold salad mixture that seemed like it had egg plant, perhaps olives and similar items, but was very bland; and (d) olives. The carrot salad was best, I enjoyed the Zaalouk, and did not care much for the taste or texture of the cold salad, whatever it was. 
Sampler plate with carrots, olives, zaalouk and a cold salad.
Harira soup
Our waiter also brought us a small cup of mint tea and a cup of harira soup, which has veggies, egg and chickpeas in a tomato base. It reminded me of minestrone soup. The soup was good, not great, and neither of us are tea drinkers, so we did not sample it. 

What knocked our socks off was the main course. Judy got couscous with lamb, which was a lamb shank with lots of couscous and veggies, including some wonderful tasting cooked carrots and zucchini. It had a little of a sweet taste to it. I got the lamb shank tagine which was a lamb shank cooked in a clay pot with prunes, almonds, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and I believe apricots and perhaps some mint. The vegetables were infused with the lamb and spices and was as good or better than the lamb. Mine was particularly good (Judy says the same about hers) and we were both stuffed.  
Lamb with couscous
Lamb shank tagine.
It was a nice first foray into Moroccan cuisine, hopefully just the first of many. 

1 comment:

  1. I would love to go back and try some other dishes. I think the waiter we had was there helping the restaurant to improve service, etc. He was excellent, very helpful as we made our selections and all-around friendly. I've eaten a lot of lamb, and this dish tasted even better than it looked. If this is a good representation of Moroccan cuisine, I'm ready for a trip to Morocco!

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