It was the first night that Souad El Khantouri, who is from Rabat, took over the cooking. The dishes that she prepared were not only elaborate but genuine, with a warm personal touch.
"I made everything. It is like I make in my home," she said.
For side dishes, there were delicious small potatoes seasoned with olive oil, garlic, cumin, parsley and paprika and yellow rice that contained fat golden raisins.
Salads included marinated carrots and zucchini; shredded cabbage; cauliflower with grilled red peppers, and a colorful mixture of cucumber, tomatoes and parsley. On the same table were round, airy rolls stuffed with tuna and onions (above).
There were platters of dates and golden brown, syrup-soaked fried sweets (at left above). On that same table were hard-cooked eggs to season with spices from containers that looked like miniature tagines.
But first came a bowl of harira, the tomato, lentil and chickpea soup that traditionally ends the day of fasting.
The most exotic of the drinks was milk--yes, plain cold milk--flavored with orange flower water so that a beautiful fragrance was released as you drank it.
And then, of course, Moroccan green tea with mint, sugar and orange flower water.
The Ramadan buffets are over, but there's one last chance to observe the season at Mamounia.
The restaurant will celebrate the end of the fasting month with an Aid El Fitr party this Saturday, August 25, at 7 p.m. There will be food and drinks and live music (The Casablanca Band). Kids under 10 are free.
I looked in on a birthday party one night at Mamounia, and the place really knows how to celebrate. It was jammed and the music was loud and fun. So call for reservations--if any are left.
Mamounia Restaurant, 1829 West Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92804. (714) 552-2813