Hours: Dinner: Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Saturday
Closed Tuesday Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Authentic Moroccan cuisine; cash only, BYO.
Shokran (meaning "thank you") is an off-the-beaten-path ethnic restaurant destined to be dubbed a find. The nondescript storefront's vibrantly colored back room is a winsome setting for generous portions of exotic fare at affordable prices, and the friendly, helpful service and BYO policy are icing on the cake. I'd return just for the bastilla—crisp baked phyllo layered with shredded chicken, crushed almonds, and hard-boiled eggs, then finished with powdered sugar and cinnamon—and the lamb Fez, my favorite tagine, here made with big chunks of honeyed lamb, prunes, and almonds complemented by halved hard-boiled eggs. The veggie sampler appetizer plate offers a nice introduction to the cold dips: roasted pepper and tomato taktouka; the similar zaalouk, mellowed by eggplant; surprisingly mild spinach bakola supposedly spiked with green olives and preserved lemon; and tart carrot salad featuring big slices of the almost flavorless vegetable. Moroccan chicken, our other tagine, melded caramelized onions, green olives, preserved lemon, and saffron, all blanketed by house-made potato crisps, but the heavily cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast was less satisfying than authentic bone-in whole chicken. House-made merguez sausage shows up in both the couscous and grill sections of the menu. The couscous side dish, topped with chickpeas, tiny lima beans, and golden raisins, could be a meal in itself. Bites, flaky fruit-filled mini pastries meant as morning snacks, were a perfect finish with the minty Moroccan tea. But if you're in a really indulgent mood, try the chocolate baklava.