Marrakech Moroccan Restaurant
By Danielle Ball
Each weekend, I head out with my best girlfriends in search of adventure. For the most part, I try to make them alternate between three or four of my favorite places. (Yep, I’m the life of the party.) Every once in a while, they convince me to try something new and it always ends up for the best. A few weeks ago, we stumbled into a truly memorable experience in the Arden-Arcade area, Marrakech Moroccan Restaurant (1833 Fulton Ave. | phone (916) 486-1944).
The Vibe: Eclectic. Walking into the restaurant is like being transported to another place. There are tapestries on the walls and layered carpets on the floor. There’s Moroccan music wafting through the door and it’s dark and cool inside. Utensils are not provided, so go with people that you want to feel extremely close to. Although there are separate tables for each party, they encourage an interactive group experience so be prepared to meet your neighbors.
Price Range: There are a few different options, but we went with the Souika Variety special which is about $25 per person. The food is served family style with multiple courses so you have a bit of choice. You can also order beer and wine. This ended up being a great value as you’re getting a multiple course dinner. You’ll start with soup and salad, move onto the Pastilla and multiple entrees and finish up with Baklava and mint tea for dessert.
What to wear: An outfit that you can sit on the floor in. There’s both low benches and cushions around the tables, but a short skirt is not recommended unless you’re into flashing the other patrons.
What to order: Everything was delicious, but what really stood out was the Chicken Pastilla. Originally one of the more questionable items on the menu, this was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It’s shredded chicken in a flaky crust topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. It’s sounds like a strange combination, but somehow it works. Of course, the mint tea and Baklava at the end of the meal was a perfect way to wind down the experience.
Food for thought: If you can make it on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll enjoy some entertainment with your dinner. A belly dancer performs in the middle of the room, and leads a group lesson before dessert. If you’re celebrating a special occasion (or feeling particularly brave) she’ll invite you to dance with her during the dinner service. Belly dancing with twenty strangers on a Friday night was definitely something new for our usual girl’s night out!
Pro tip: the shows start at 7:30p.m. and 8:30p.m. so be sure to arrive with plenty of time. We were running late and had to awkwardly run past the dancer as she was performing. Learn from our mistake and don’t be that person. Have fun and enjoy the new experience!