On our way to Gyoza King a couple of weekends ago, Grayson and I walked by Argan Bistro. We wanted to go in for dinner but they were all booked up so we decided that we would go another day. We ended up going a couple of weekends afterwards and for some reason we thought that there wouldn’t be a need for reservations. We soon regretted this decision because we were told that they were fully booked until 8:30 but since we were both quite hungry, we decided to just have our dinner at the bar. The restaurant interior was well decorated and had a warm and intimate feel to it.
Zaalouk ($7): To start, we decided to get this eggplant spread that came with a few pieces of house-made bread that had been toasted. It was served cold and had slices of preserved lemon peel, roasted bell peppers and olives in it.
Neither of us had tried something like this before and Grayson being the eggplant lover that he is, enjoyed this appetizer thoroughly. I couldn’t really taste much besides the eggplant in the dish and couldn’t taste any seasonings in it either. But perhaps that could be because the preserved lemon slices were too prominent and bitter to me and overpowered my taste buds. I’m more of a bread enthusiast (you’d know this if you’ve been reading my blog for a while) so I enjoyed the the bread more. They were lightly toasted and had a light sprinkle of herbs on top as well.
Seafood sampler ($16): The selection for the seafood sampler was up to the chef and unfortunately, the three items were not explained to us when our server brought it to or table either. This was a little disappointing because well, we like to know what we’re eating. We were going to flag her down to ask but she was busy with another table so we just decided to eat it without knowing.
All the items were beautifully seasoned and the fish (I think it was cod) was perfectly cooked. The shrimp was more on the garlic-y side and was slightly undercooked…but we didn’t mind. Although we enjoyed the plate, we were a little disappointed because we felt as though there was a bit of a pricing mismatch with this dish because we expected there to be more on the plate…even if it was a fine dining place.
Award winning lamb couscous ($24): Grayson decided to get this braised lamb dish because of it’s “award winning” title. The lamb arrived on top of a pile of root vegetables, and couscous. It also had a few sprinkles of chickpeas, onions, and raisins on the side.
Grayson was a little disappointed with this dish because he felt like the lamb was on the dry side and wished that there was more of the Moroccan jus on top. I could tell that it was looking a bit dry too because the lamb didn’t look very moist. This was his first experience with couscous and he said that he wouldn’t mind having it again some time. He enjoyed the raisins as well because it added an element of sweetness to the dish.
Chicken couscous ($22): I decided to get the saffron chicken version of the dish and everything it came with was the same but mine didn’t come with root vegetables. I asked for my Moroccan jus on the side so I ended up plating my chicken on top of my plate on my own. I would like to think that I did a pretty good job at it too…
Anyways, since I had some of the jus left over, I ended up giving Garyson the extra so that he could use it for his lamb. I really liked the saffron chicken because it was really well prepared and moist. I gave Grayson some and he said that he liked my chicken more than his lamb. The couscous was fluffy, well seasoned and light. Overall, the dish was pretty satisfying…but I just wish that there was more of that delicious chicken on that plate!
The two of us enjoyed our dining experience because the restaurant had wonderful ambiance and the food was quite scrumptious as well. However, we felt that the service was a little lacking because our server didn’t really check up on us as much as she did with the guests that sat at actual dining tables. With that being said, we wouldn’t mind coming back again some time to try their tajines!