Marrakesh in Costa Mesa, CA

I’ve always pictured Marrakesh to be like the restaurant in the movie Along Came Polly.  But it isn’t like that!  Or maybe we just didn’t order the finger food.  I heard a lot about this Moroccan restaurant when I was living in Irvine, but I never tried it out until a friend suggested going there during OC Restaurant week in October! Going to Marrakesh is both a cultural and special dining experience.  The restaurant is decorated to look like Morroco, and there is music and belly dancing during your meal.  The dishes are usually about $30, but with the restaurant week deal, a 3-course meal is $18.50. 

Some tasty bread is served first. 

You have a choice of an appetizer: 3-salad platter of cooked eggplant in tomato sauce, cucumbers and bell peppers in Mediterranean seasoning, and oasis carrots with coriander or the b’stella, which is a pastry-like pie with chicken, nuts, eggs, parsley, and onions topped with powdered sugar and some cinnamon.  The salty-sweet combination might sound weird, but it actually works really well with these ingredients. 

Next, you can choose an entrée!  There are kabobs, couscous, lamb, fish, and chicken dishes to choose from.

Tagine of Chicken- Chicken marinated in ginger, saffron, and onions and served with olives and preserved lemons.

I ordered the Couscous Royale, which is steamed semolina couscous with sautéed vegetables, chicken and lamb kabobs, and lamb sausage.  I didn’t want to eat so much lamb so I just ordered the dish with the chicken kabobs and the lamb sausage.  The lamb sausage was too lamby for me, and I couldn’t eat more than one bite of it.  I loved the flavors of the dish though.  The couscous was cooked in a chicken broth, and the chicken was so tender. 

The meal ends with a taste of mint tea and baklava!


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