So I went over to Monique’s apartment last evening for a celebratory glass of sparkling wine before heading out to the well-loved 404 located in the Marais district. It was her birthday. You definitely need to book ahead to get into this restaurant. I snapped some street shots along the way.
There’s a lot of tasty-looking men in this district, many are gay. Here’s the restaurant below. We got there early and the doors hadn’t opened yet. There’s a story behind the name, 404. I’ll tell you at the end of this post.
I had the lamb and artichoke heart tagine. Monique had the vegetarian couscous. A tagine is an earthenware pot with a flat base and conical lid, used in North African cooking – most famously in Morocco. In French, it’s spelled tajine.
For dessert, M had a plate of sliced orange drizzled with orange flower water and cinnamon. I had a warm date pastilla topped with cream and something crunchy, slivered almonds probably.
OK, now for the story of the restaurant’s name. Owner and restaurateur, Mourad Mazouz, otherwise known as Momo, called it 404 as a tribute to the model of the old Peugeot cars that North African families drove during their summer returns to the home country. Mazouz also owns the insanely trendy and expensive restaurant in London’s Mayfair district, Sketch, as well as the Mayfair Moroccan restaurant, Momo.
Back in Paris, here are two other well-known couscous restaurants. Moroccan and Tunisian cuisine is big in France:
Chez Omar, 47 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris (fun and popular in the Marais district)
Le Sirocco, 8 Bis Rue des Gobelins, 75013 Paris (more staid and serious and kinda out of the way)
Photo of London’s Sketch restaurant: