San Francisco has three times the number of halal restaurants — Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Turkish, Chinese — it did a decade ago. Muslim diners can find pizza and burritos now, as well as shawerma and seekh kabobs. But it's hard to eat certified halal as well as you do at Cafe Zitouna. The flavors of Najib Rebia's harira (lentil soup) and Moroccan tajines are lilting and complex. His Tunisian fare brings on the spice, whether it's the chiles that make his couscous platters glow, or the pileup of cumin, coriander, garlic, and harissa in his kufta tajine and chakchouka with merguez. Sugary mint tea, doled out into tiny glasses, and semolina cake doused in orange-flower water clear the palate after dinner, more refreshing than any postprandial glass of wine.
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