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Courtyard by Marriott
530 Broadway, Gaslamp

Where most "California cuisine" chefs reinterpret the flavors of France and Italy, Iranian-born Faz Poursohi brings the same clean-flavored, stylish slant to the cuisines of the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. His baba ghanouj (eggplant spread) is unquestionably the best in town, with its subtle sweet flavor of caramelized onions and whole milk yogurt. And his juicy pork chop -- brined, lightly smoked, and finished on the wood grill to the exact doneness that you specify -- is a textbook example of how to treat today's leaner pork. Pomegranate salad dressing, alluring marinated roast peppers -- this cuisine makes an art of simplicity.

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