Kirbie's Cravings

Kous Kous Restaurant and $100 Giveaway!

Please note: the giveaway is now closed. Foodbuzz will be choosing the winner in January. Good luck to those who entered!

This last week has been a lot of holiday eating. A lot of holiday eating. The other night, FH and I went with some friends to Kous Kous, a Moroccan restaurant we’ve always enjoyed.

Not only was this a good chance to enjoy a meal before the holidays with friends, but it also gave me a chance to check about American Express’ new Serve program, which I’ll detail more at the end of this post. In addition, one person commenting on this post will win $100 American Express’/Serve credit, find out more at the end of this post. You can do anything you want with the money: use it to pay for dinner, transfer it back into your bank account, etc.

Once we arrived, we noticed some different items on the menu and also the addition of a cocktail menu. You can view the full menu here.

The left is a Moroccan Kiss (champagne, pomegranate juice, orange blossom, St. Germain liquor).

The right is a Sit Sin (Citrus & Cinnamon ~ Mandarin Absolut, Citron Absolut, orange juice, cinnamon schnapps, cream)

For our starter we chose the vegetarian platter:

Zaalouk, My Ratatouille, Endive Pockets, Moroccan Potato Salad

We’ve always enjoyed the tapas in the past, but this time, they were made quite differently. They didn’t taste bad, but we preferred the previous version.

Prior to our main entrees arriving, we were given some complimentary bread served with a curry sauce reminscent of thai curry.

Here’s our main entrees

Merguez Grilled, spiced Lamb sausage with a ginger garlic butter sauce

I was surprised to see this served with a side of rice. Previously all dishes came with their couscous, which I absolutely adore. A second look at the menu made me realize most of the dishes are no longer served with couscous. Not sure why the change. I did enjoy the sausages.

Berber Lamb Shank Tagine
Slow braised with saffron, cumin, garlic, lemon preserves and seasonal vegetables

I had this dish previously and the lamb was as good as I remembered. Tender, fall off the bone, with hints of garlic, cumin and saffron. Unfortunately, this used to be served with a huge plate of couscous that I could never finish. Now the dish is just served in a large casserole dish, swimming with broth. It felt weird to not have any couscous to eat this with.

Fassi Lamb Shank Tagine
“Ras’l hanout” honey sauce, caramelized dry fruit, toasted almonds and sesame seeds.

I found this lamb dish too sweet. I wasn’t really a fan. Again, it was served with rice instead of couscous.

Lamb “Mechoui” Couscous

This dish is how the tagine dishes used to look. A ton of couscous and some meat sitting on top. My friend was generous enough to share his couscous with me since I was missing it so much.

I’m not sure if this place came under new management. I should have asked our server. The service was very good, attentive and friendly. For the most part we enjoyed the food, but not as much as we did before.

At the beginning of my post, I mentioned American Express’ Serve. American Express recently launched a program called Serve, a new form of payment that allows you easily to pay back friends (similar to paypal). For instance, it allows you to go out with your friends and be able to split the bill without worrying about people not paying back and having outstanding IOUs. You can put money into your Serve account, which you can fund through bank account, credit card, and a few other methods. You can then easily send money from your Serve account to another person with a Serve account. There’s a phone app too, so that you can do it during at the end of your meal. You can use that money in your Serve account to fund future meals, or transfer it back into your bank account.

As part of being a member of Foodbuzz’ Tastemakers Program, certain bloggers were selected to try out the program and received $150 to help fund dinner (plus an additional $100 for writing about our experience). Right now, if you sign up, you can $10 automatically.

You don’t need to have an American Express card, though you will be given a physical card too which you can use at places that accept American Express. You can check out the program here. You can sign up here.

We found the program easy to use. It takes only a few minutes to set up the account. Once we finished our dinner, one person put the entire bill on his credit card. I then logged into my account and transferred the money over to his serve account by typing in his email address. He got an email about it and the funds were deposited soon after.

My friends found the program pretty impressive. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky because I haven’t experienced that many IOUs that don’t get paid back but my friends have. We launched into a whole discussion of unpaid IOUs. This prevents the problem because everyone can just pay right away.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a $250 stipend to try Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use.  In addition, Foodbuzz and American Express are doing a contest for a chance to win $100 credited to your serve account. Simply leave a comment below within the next 7 days (By December 26, 2011) for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! A comment below will get you an entry. Foodbuzz will then select one winner randomly from the comments on this post. Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found here:


Kous Kous
3940 4th Avenue, Suite 110,
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 295 – 5560


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42 comments on “Kous Kous Restaurant and $100 Giveaway!”

  1. I would use the $100 to go out with my BF and some friends! We haven’t spent much time together since I started studying for the MCAT. :-[

  2. As usual American Express is exhibiting why they are definitely Best In Class with regard to the customer experience. It was a goal since i was a teen-ager to get my American Express card and i have been totally happy with it since i achieved it. I cant wait to try out the American Express Serve program.
    Thanks for sharing this program.

  3. Coucous looks delish!

    I’ve signed up for Serve! Thanks!

  4. i would use the money to take my husband out to dinner

  5. I would use the money to go out with my family for some good BBQ.

  6. I signed up. I would take my parents out for a nice dinner.

  7. I’m staying at my boyfriend’s parents house for two weeks and would really like to be able to take them out for a nice dinner!

  8. I signed up. Hope I Win!

  9. $100 toward dinner with friends would be great! Hope I win!

  10. Signed up! Would love to win!

  11. Okay, if I win, I am going to take our blogger group out to celebrate! Pick me, pick me!!!

  12. I signed up for a Serve account!

    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  13. $100 to take me and the DH to dinner!

  14. The lamb sausage and volcanic mountain of rice looks so delicious! Yay for yellow rice.

    “couscous, the food’s so nice they named it twice!” – a movie.

  15. Serve is an interesting concept that I would love to try! I hate owing people money and this is a tactful way for people to pay IOUs, without you having to poke and prod them later.

  16. Yeah it always sucks going out w/ large group b/c there’s always that ONE or TWO friends that short change the entire bill.
    I’d use the funds to go out w/ the BF and family for a fun dinner.

  17. This would be great to finally get a date night with my husband – all I’d have to do is find a babysitter!

  18. I signed up for Serve last week! If I win the $100 I will use it to take my siblings out for dinner.

  19. I never got my $10 credit!! 🙁

  20. What a great blog!!

    Serve is a great idea! I signed up through FB & my email address ~ [email protected].

    Have a great Christmas & New Years! 🙂

  21. Definitely using the $100 for dinner. We tried to get reservations the other night at Cucina Urbana and no luck 🙁

  22. That’s awesome! I’m in college, so it could definitely be used!

  23. Ohh everything looks so scrumptious! If I win, I’ll most likely use the money towards books instead of a fancy dinner unfortunately.

  24. I LOVE FOOD.

  25. Kous Kous looks goood. I have missed Moroccan goo d since Marrakesh went down hill.

  26. I’d probably spend the $100 on a restaurant or a couple of various meals. I think I could eat Kous Kous all day, maybe not for breakfast… would it be weird to do that? Also, great post!

  27. I would probably use some of the money to eat at an amazing BBQ place here and to get crab rangoon pizza–I am officially obsessed with it!

  28. I’d definitely want to spend the $100 on treating my family with a dinner at Kous Kous Restaurant! Happy Holidays, Kirbie! Thank you for all your recipe ideas!

  29. Thank you for the wonderful review of Kous Kous and great information about Serve! Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones 🙂

  30. Kous Kous is pretty good =)
    Thanks for all your blogs! Love reading them!

  31. Just opened a Serve account, sounds like a useful service

  32. aww~ $100 would help me pay for the SATs (:!!!
    P.S: I enjoy your blog, it gives me a lot of helpful reviews ^_^! Please, keep it up!!

  33. Thanks! I signed up.

  34. 100$ for after xmas shopping!

  35. hope i win!

  36. If I win, I’ll take my family out to dinner

  37. I’d use it to take my wife out. I signed up.

  38. Love Serve! Would definetely use this to take my husband out! (He went WAY overboard this christmas on me) Would definetely return the favor and go overboard on spending HIM for a change!!! 🙂

  39. Kous Kous not serving kous kous except for a tad few offerings?
    Did you ask if you could substitute or get a side order?

    I have tried to get to this retaurant for some time now but failed. The last time I entered the doors (without a reservation–not recommended) there was a 1-1/2 hour wait. I didn’t have that kind of time. So, I looked elsewhere and found a rather lovely little bistro not too far away.

    I am planning on having dinner after Kous Kous after Christmas and I hope that I can order kous kous along with my entree — substitution or side –in fact I would prefer to have a platter of both for those who have preferences with the meat or tarins in their own serving dishes. I have never had a tagine that wasn’t served with rice or kous kous. Traditionally, most Morrocan meals are served “family style” which I love because it really lends itself to a truly shared experience with close friends and helps to break the ice very warmly with new friends.

    Do they have an option of traditional service?

    • I’m sorry I have only been here three times and I don’t have answers to your questions. I don’t know if you can get a substitute, but I imagine they would allow at least a side order. I hope you have a good time here

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