Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv+Jerusalem (Updated 11.6.10

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:40 am

Because I am now writing two wine columns weekly (instead of one) and am no longer the restaurant critic for HaAretz, I am no longer in a position where I can update these guides on a regular basis. Because some of the information may thus be dated, I am no longer going to keep these threads as "stickies" and let them float down as nature will have them do.

Following is the first half of the latest edition of my Israeli Restaurant Guide, that including my rather massive semi-annual update. This half includes the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas. The second half, including Herzilya, Haifa, The North and the South is found on a separate thread. Both are updated as of 4 Jan 2010.

Should anyone spot restaurants that they know have closed or have restaurants that they think should be included, please let me know either on this thread or by email to drogov@cheerful.com

Best
Rogov




All of the restaurants listed in this mini-guide, regardless of price, are recommended

Price categories (including a reasonably priced bottle of wine)
Reasonable: up to 400 per couple
Moderate: NIS 400-550 per couple
Expensive: More than NIS 550 per couple

Rating System
***** Outstanding by international standards
****Truly excellent
***Very good, sometimes excellent
**Consistently good
*Simple but reliable and good





Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Nearby Suburbs


Far Eastern


Giraffe Noodle Bar 48 Ibn Gvirol St. (03) 691-6294. Daily 12:00–01:00. Justifiably popular noodles bar. Stir fried chicken and cucumber on noodles, sashimi noodles. Fun dining. Reasonable. **

GooCha: 14 Ibn Grivol St. (03) 691-1603. Daily 12:00-01:00. A modern, super-popular, somewhat westernized version of Asian street food. Fine crab bisque; Thai tom yam soup; mixed seafood with garlic, butter and parsley sauce; and spicy Canceres sausages. Relaxed and fun. Moderate. **

Japanika 128 Dizengoff St. (03) 529-1014. Sun-Thurs 12:00-01:00, Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 18:00-01:00. A tiny but attractive hat-box of a place offering good sushi and sashimi. Worth visiting. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Kai 4 Barzel St., Ramat HaChayal. (03) 644-6485. Sun-Thurs 12:00-16:00, 19:00-01:00; Friday afternoon; Saturday from19:00. Sushi on moveable belts in a mass-market but pleasant setting. Standard but good sushi at reasonable prices. Best for lunch. **

Miyako 10 Betzalel St., Ramat Gan. (03) 612-8687. Daily 12:00-24:00. Japanese dining in an appealing setting. Large variety of traditional and original sushi and sashimi, very good ramen soup with shrimps, tempting tepanyaki dishes. Moderate. ***

The Officers' Club 21 HaArba'a St. (03) 685-1155. Daily 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-01:00. Modern and, quasi-industrial in style but quite attractive. Try the fish and seafood soup, the gyozo dumplings, the tempura style calamari, and the yao-che beef (fillet in a meat stock with spices and brandy). Moderate-Expensive ***

Moon 58 Bograshov St. (03) 629-1155. Daily 19:00-24:00. Mostly for the sushi that appears on an endless belt. Moderate-Expensive. **

Onami 18 Ha’arba’a. (03) 562-1172. Sun-Thurs 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-01:30, Fri and Sat 13:00-01:30. Intimate and appealing, with creative Japanese modern and traditional dishes. Exquisite sushi, sashimi, yakitori and noodle offerings, yaki udon (wheat noodles with mussels and Chinese cabbage). Moderate-Expensive. ***

The Red Chinese 326 Dizengoff St. (03) 546-6347. Daily 13:00-23:30. Long established and somewhat Westernized. Very good Peking duck, pleasant wonton soup, spare ribs, lemon chicken, and Szechuan fish. Moderate. **

Sakura 79 King George St. (03) 621-2900. Daily 12:00-01:00. Japanese food, true to its roots in an appealing setting. Excellent miso soup, sushi and sashimi; steamed gyozo dumplings filled with beef, chicken or vegetables; tempting tempura shrimps. An appropriate wine list and good selection of Japanese beers. Prices are moderate. ***

The Sushi Bar Hilton Hotel. (03) 520-2222. Daily 18:00–23:00. Good sushi and sashimi in a sophisticated setting. Moderate. Kosher. **

Sushi Bar 20 Ashtori Haparchi St. (03) 546-0575. Sun-Thurs 12:00-24:00, Fri and Sat from 17:00– 24:00. Reasonable sushi and sashimi. Best deals are the fixed priced meals. Moderate. *

Sushido 15 Rothschild Blvd. (03) 517-7794. Daily 11:00-03:00. Stylish and fun. Sushi and sashimi with happy variations in the “crazy sushi” and “spider sushi”. Shrimp and vegetable tempura dishes in a modern, yuppie oriented Japanese eatery. Moderate – Expensive. **

Sushi Samba 27 HaBarzel St, Ramat HaChayal, Sat-Weds 19:00-24:00 and Thurs-Fri until 24:30. (03) 644-4345. Large and glitzy, as much a social scene as a restaurant. Delightful sashimi seviche of sea bass, crab and shrimp cakes, glazed marrow bones, rock shrimps, sushi rolls, skewered salmon with miso and beef skewers with aji peppers. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Tandoori 2 Zamenhoff St. (03) 629-6605. Daily 12:30-15:30 and 19:00-01:00. Indian cuisine in an appealing setting. Mulligatawny soup, lamb chops in green masala sauce, lamb and shrimp curries. Moderate. *

Thai House 8 Bograshov St. (03) 517-8568. Daily 12:00-23:00. Simple setting with good dumplings filled with chicken and vegetables, shrimps with mushrooms and chili peppers, stir-fried vegetables. Reasonable. **

Yakimono 19 Rothschild Blvd. (03) 517-5171. Daily 12:30-24:00. Elegant modern Japanese cuisine. Inventive sushi, some with far from traditional sauces, excellent soups, tepanyaki dishes. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Zepra: 96 Igal Alon St. (03) 624-0044. Daily 12:00-24:00. Modern Asian dining in a spectacular and attractive setting. Everything worth trying but among my own favorites, Conforti's sashmi chops, the som tam Thai salad, calamari salad with fried onions and chili peppers, the Mongolian lamb and the tempura dishes with Japanese mayonnaise. Great fun. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Fish and Seafood


Barbounia 163 Ben Yehuda St. (03) 524-0961. Sat-Thurs 12:00-24:00, Fri 12:00-18:00. A popular fixed-price fish and seafood restaurant. Good meze, fresh grilled or fried fish, shrimps in garlic, butter and lemon sauce. Reasonable. *

Benny HaDayag Tel Aviv Port, (03) 544-0518. Daily 12:30-00:30. Informal tavernna-style dining. Sit indoors or at water’s edge, start off with the extensive meze and then to baked or grilled fish, calamari or jumbo shrimps in wine, butter and garlic sauce. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Boya Tel Aviv Port. (03)544-6166. Daily 12:00-24:00. Attractive modern design and a view of the sea. Seviche of fresh anchovies or eggplant with yoghurt and tarragon, trio of devil fish, grouper and meagre in bouillabaisse-like stock or seafood in white wine and garlic sauce. Moderate. **

Deca 10 HaTa'asia St. (03) 562-9900. Sun-Thurs 19:00-24:00, Sat from close of Shabbat. On a run-down street but once inside an appealingly modern setting. Bean soup with tortellini pasta, seviche of amberjack fish, grilled fish with humous beans or on a bed of parpadelle. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. ***

Foreline 10 Frishman St. (03) 522-2664. Daily12:00-23:00. Attractive and reliable. Good antipasti, gravlax, moules mariniere, trout and other fish stuffed with spinach or a variety of sauces, duet of dourade and sea bream in Bechamel sauce. Moderate. **

Manta Ray: Alma Beach (near the Dolphinarium). (03) 517-4773. Daily 09:00-24:00. Relaxed atmosphere with a splendid view of the sea. Excellent mezes to start and then seafood soup, crabs vinaigrette, grilled drumfish with lemon and sage. Moderate. ***

Moul Yam Tel Aviv Port. (03) 546-9920. Daily 12:00-16:00 and 19:30-23:00. Combining French classicism, American modernism and Mediterranean charm, certainly one of the very best restaurants in the country. Oysters, shrimps with mussel flavored butter, any dish with langoustines, coquilles St Jacques or lobsters. Superb wine list, excellent service. Expensive. *****

Shtsupak 256 Ben Yehuda St. Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00. (03) 544-1973. Fixed price fish and seafood meals in a super-simple, super-popular setting. Tabouleh, fried eggplant, ikra, and then shrimps or calamari in oil-butter-garlic sauce, fried or grilled fish. Stay with beer. Reasonable. *

Margaret Tayar 8 Retsif Aliya Hashniya, Jaffa. (03) 682-4741. Mon-Thurs 13:00-17:00 and 19:00- 23:00, Sat 13:00-19:00. Simple but ultimately “in” eatery where the fish couscous, stuffed sardines, and fish dishes are worth trying. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Shaked 90 Hashmona'eem St. (03) 561-0546. Daily 12:00-24:00. Old-fashioned enough to be thought of homey, with good starting mezes and on to crisp calamari, shrimps in butter and garlic and a very good selection of fish carpaccio. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Turquoise 8 Rozenblum Herzl St (in the Sea and Sun Center, Tel Baruch. (03) 6996306. Daily 10:00-24:00: Attractive design with a good view of the sea and cliffs. As first courses, carpaccio of red tuna, grouper kebabs, Spanish serano ham. Best main course I tried was of a whole grouper, that cut into chunks and coated with seasoned breadcrumbs. Good tiramisu for dessert and good wine list. Moderate-Expensive. **



French

Adora 226 Ben Yehuda St. (03) 605-0896. Daily 12:00-03:00. Appealing bistro atmosphere with a modern touch. Good chicken and goose liver pate and coquilles St. Jacques with turnip cream as starters. Among most appealing main courses, lamb sausages and crab-filled raviolis. Moderate ***

Brasserie 70 Ibn Gvirol St. (03) 696-7111. Open 24 hours daily. True to the French brasserie in design. Not all dishes succeed but as first courses consider the country style pate, crab filled raviolis and skewered shrimps. Among best main courses, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon and steak au poivre. Moderate-Expensive. **

Café Noir 43 Ahad Ha'Am St. (03) 566-3018. Daily 08:00-02:00. French- Mediterranean dining in an attractive setting. Start with the creamy red pepper soup or the liver pate and go on to the salad with shrimps and calamari or the good veal schnitzels. Service is sometimes brusque. Moderate. **

Carmella ba Nachala 46 HaTavor St.. (03) 516-1417.Sun-Fri 09:00-23:00, Sat 13:00-23:00. French-Mediterranean cuisine in a charming setting. Roasted pear with blue cheese, shrimp seviche, baby calamaris with thyme and citrus and then potato gnocchi with porcini sauce, bass in oregano-tomato sauce, grilled lamb skewers. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Catit 4 Hichal HaTalmud St. (near the corner of Yehuda HaLevi St). (03) 510-7001. Daily 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-23:00. Fine dining with a fine chef in an intimate and attractive setting. Salad of Spanish mackerel with Swiss Chard and yuzu cream; grilled calamaris stuffed with veal and burghul and served with baby mozzarella; veal sweetbreads with a mushroom and thyme ragout. For dessert kadaif pastries with vanilla pastry cream. Excellent and exciting in every way. Expensive. *****

Chloelys 16 Abba Hillel, Ramat Gan. (03) 575-9060 Daily 12:00-24:00: One of the best and most beautiful restaurants in the country. Best first courses include red tuna tartare, seared tuna with wassabi, and duck liver on brioche. Excellent main courses include mousseline of coquilles St Jacques with langoustines and risotto with lobster. Excellent service and wine list. Moderate–Expensive. *****

Coffee Bar 13 Yad Harutzim St. (03) 688-9696. Sun-Thurs 11:30-16:00 and 17:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 17:00-24:00. A justifiably popular, lively and sophisticated Brasserie. Vegetable antipasto, boeuf Bourguignon, hamburgers in red wine sauce. Good desserts and good wine list. Moderate. ***

Cordelia Simtat HaZcuchit (near the corner of Yeffet 30), Jaffa. (03) 518-4668. Mon-Sat 19:00-24:00. Creative cuisine in a very appealing setting. Shrimps in porcini mushroom sauce, raviolis in tomato and olive oil, zucchini with minced lamb, calamari on goat’s milk yoghurt. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Dallal 10 Shabazi St., Neve Tzedek. (03) 510-9292. Daily 12:00-23:00. A Mediterranean haven set in a beautifully renovated building. As first courses, tartare of amberjack, carpaccio of pickled sirloin and as main courses the trio of Dallal burgers (one classic, one with mozzarella cheese and one with pastrami), and any of the fish fillets, each with an appropriate sauce. Good desserts. Moderate. **

Herbert Samuel In Beit Gibor, 6 Koifman St. (03) 516-6516. Daily 12:30-16:00 and 19:00-24:00. Stylish, laid back and relaxed. You may love or hate the design but the food and atmosphere are, by any standard, "terrific". Pickled jalapeno peppers, fine Jerusalem artichoke soup with chestnuts, octopus salad, onion raviolis, veal tongue with fennel salad, crab risotto. Better for dinner than for lunch. A fine wine list. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Hudson 27 HaBarzel St., Ramat HaChayal. (03) 644-4733. Daily 12:00-24:00. Attractive, sophisticated atmosphere in an American-style brasserie. As openers, tartare of tuna, shrimp cakes, chicken liver pate; among best main courses fine sirloin steak and ribs. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Kimmel 6 HaShachar St. (03) 510-5204. Daily 12:00-24:00. Appealing ambiance, good service and distinctly Mediterranean flavors. Liver pate with Calvados, raviolis with goat’s cheese, veal Marsala, Italian style choucroute garni, chocolate cake with Grand Marnier. Moderate. ***

The King Solomon Hilton Hotel. (03) 520-2023. Sun-Thurs 19:00-23:00. Formal, imaginative dining. Veal carpaccio with avocado and tomato guacamole, quail breast with shallot confit, red snapper fillets with couscous and a garlic-saffron aioli sauce. Expensive. Kosher. **

Lilith 4 Weissman St. (in Beit Asia). (03) 609-1331. Sun-Thurs 12:00-243:00, Fri 11:00-16:00. Stylishly designed, this upswing restaurant offers fine French-Mediterranean cuisine. Tomato soup, gnocchi alla Romana with porcini mushrooms as openers. As main courses the delicious stew of lamb neck with root vegetables, and the siniya. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. ****

Mandy's 2 Rokach Blvd (in the Daniel Rowing Center). (03) 699-6404. Daily 19:00-24:00. Charming setting on the edge of the Yarkon River. As openers, ravioli with shrimps, crab meat in a crab bisque, and seviche of drumfish. Tempting main courses are jumbo shrimps baked in a taboon oven and the fillet steak with porcini enriched demi-glace sauce. Moderate-Expensive. **

Maraboo 14 Abba Hillel St., Ramat Gan. (073) 714-2828. Daily 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-23:30. Attractive in a modern, perhaps too sterile manner but offering good dishes. As first courses, truffled gnocchi with coquilles St. Jacques, shrimp filled raviolis, seviche of blue-fin tuna. As main courses, stew of veal cheek, bass fillets with Gorgonzola risotto. Expensive. ***

Martha 26 Ibn Gvirol St. (03) 696-6843. Daily 12:00-02:00. A charming modern bistro. Build a meal of first courses – seviche of grey mullet, shrimps in tomato cream sauce, eggplants on a bed of lentils with creamy yoghurt. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Messa Rehov HaArba'a 19. (03) 685-6859. Daily 12:30-15:30 and 19:00-23:30. Highly stylized, very, very "in" and with food definitely worth trying. Baked narrow-bones, seviche of grey mullet, and liver pate as excellent starters. Among best main courses goose thigh with a puree of sweet potatoes, beef fillet with truffle-enrichhed puree, chicken livers with a sweet fig sauce. Good wine list and fine service. Be sure to explore the fascinating bar area. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Montifiore Hotel 36 Montefiore St. (03) 564-6100. Daily 07:00-24:00. Comfortably formal but not stuffy. As opening courses, tartar of drum fish with asparagus, consommé with goose liver filled raviolis, sirloin with Sichuan pepper and a Far-Eastern dipping sauce. For main courses consider the pork chop filled with Manchego cheese and wrapped in bacon. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Olive Leaf Tel Aviv Sheraton Hotel. (03) 521-9300. Sun-Thurs 19:00-22:30. Appealing and sophisticated atmosphere. Herb filled raviolis with porcini cream, veal sweetbreads on shallot and apple couscous, Cornish hen wrapped with goose breast, veal scaloppini with broad beans. Expensive. Kosher. **


Raphael 87 Hayarkon St. (03) 522-6464. Daily 12:30-17:00 and 19:00-23:00. One of the very best restaurants in the country. Truth is, everything here is delicious. Among very best dishes. porcini mushroom risotto, calamari with salad of Jerusalem artichokes, leg of lamb with lentils. Excellent desserts and fine wine list. Expensive. *****

Rokah 73 73 Rokah Blvd. Ramat Aviv (behind the tennis courts). Open daily 12:00-01:00. Tel 03 7448844. French-Provencal cuisine in a charming setting. Best bets include crab bisque, bouillabaisse, octopus risotto, boeuf bourguignon, and for dessert, wine tarte tatin or tiramisu. Good service and a good wine list. Moderate. ***

Salon 8 Ma'avar Yavok (in Tel Aviv's Nachalat Yitzhak quarter). (052) 703-5888. Weds and Thurs 19:00-01:30. As always it has been, dining with chef Eyal Shani is an adventure in this case of a super-casual setting that boasts superb and creative cuisine. Among best offerings – eggplant sabich; octopus in olive oil on a bed of mamaliga; shwarma of blue crab; and the fabulous Charolais beef entrecote. The wine list is excellent but, as all here, expect a hefty bill for your pleasure. And do not dream of showing up without an advance reservation. Expensive but worth the expense. ****


Italian

Amici: Rehov Montifiore 31, Tel Aviv. Open 19:00-01:00. Tel: (03) 5666188. Highly stylized design, fine Italian cuisine, warm and responsive service and a superb wine list come together nicely. Start with the excellent focaccia and, as first courses, hearts of artichokes with aioli sauce and syrup of cherry tomatoes or tortellini filled with veal cheek meat or carpaccio of barramundi fish. For main courses consider the excellent fettuccini and seafood or the equally good parpadelle with oxtail meat. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Amore Mio 100 Ibn Gvirol St.. (03) 524-4040. Daily 12:00-01:00. A simple but hospitable trattoria. Start off with mixed antipasti, go on to raviolis with salmon in cream sauce or tagliata de manzo, sirloin strips in a lemony sauce with arugula salad. Chocolate truffles for dessert. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Bellini 6 Yehieli (Suzanne Delal Center). (03) 517-8486. Daily 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-24:00. Appealing, relaxed atmosphere and good service. Good antipasti offerings, linguini with seafood, veal with artichoke hearts, gnocchi in four-cheese sauce, veal alla Marsala. Moderate. **

Café Italia 6 Kreminitzky St. (03) 561-2888. Daily 19:00-24:00. Eye catching, warm and comfortable serving well executed traditional Italian dishes. Open with a mini courses of calf's tongue and Swiss chard with humous beans; go on to cold chicken liver salad; shrimps alla plancha; or mushrooms alio oli. For main courses consider the parpadele in mushroom and cream sauce, the lasagna Bolognese or the pork ribs Milanese. Good desserts and a fine wine list. Moderate. ***

Cucina Tamar 10 HaTsfira St (in the area of Yad Charutzim). Daily 17:00-24:00. (03) 639-0407. Appealing Italian cuisine in a just funky enough setting. Raviolis with Parmesan and ricotta cheese with black truffles, tortellini filled with artichokes and Parmesan cheese in a garlic rich sauce, lamb brain in a sauce of lemon, butter, parsley and breadcrumbs and fine veal scallopine. Moderate. ***

Mel & Michelle 155 Ben Yehuda St. (03) 529-3232. Sun-Fri 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-24:00. A charming and friendly Italian trattoria. As first courses, pickled sardines, calamari on a burghul salad, good Italian saumerie. For main courses fine veal and pork sausages with peccorio cheese served with marrow bones and sauerkraut, parpadelle pasta with buttarga (fish roe) and bits of calamari. Good tiramisu. Moderate. ***

Pappa's 12 Hillel HaZaken St. (03) 510-7373. Daily 12:00-24:00. A simple but appealing trattoria. Good opening antipasti served gratis, calamari with aioli sauce, pizza with mushrooms and bacon, chicken livers in Marsala wine. Good tiramisu. Moderate. **

Pasta Mia 10 Wilson St. (03) 561-0189 and HaBarzel 34, Ramat HaChayal (03) 649-9346. Daily 12:00–24:00. The kinds of places that give simplicity its good name. Among best offerings - gnocchi with butter and garlic, cheese filled raviolis with mushroom and red wine sauce, veal with Marsala sauce and for dessert a splendid tiramisu. Reasonable. **

Piccola Pasta Ben Yehuda 53. (03) 529-0643. Sun-Fri 18:00-24:45. An intimate and super-fun trattoria and wine bar offering often excellent and often creative antipasti, pizza and pasta dishes with fine home-made sauces. Good wine list and excellent selection of grappa. Reasonable-Moderate. ***

Pronto 26 Nachmani St. (03) 566-0915. Daily 12:30-24:00. Pleasing ambiance and good service. Many excellent dishes, among the best being vitello tonatto (cold veal with tuna, anchovy and caper mayonnaise); black rice topped with seafood; Roman style polenta; black truffles and mushrooms on fettuccini; lamb medallions with fried peppers. Good desserts and fine wine list. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Radio Rosco: 97 Allenby St. (03) 560-0334. Daily 12:00-02:00. Fun to eat Italian food with a distinct Italo-American touch in a very pleasant setting. Open with a variety of crostini, go on to Tuscan beef tartare, continue with raviolis or other pasta dishes but whatever you do, don't miss the thin-crusted pizzas here. Moderate. ***

Ronimotti 24 Raoul Wallenberg St, Ramat HaChayal. (03) 647-0247. Sun 07:30-18:30, Mon-Fri 07:30-23:00. A simple but charming trattoria set in the courtyard of a high-tech office building. Fresh figs with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves; malfatti dumplings filled with vegetables and cheeses served on a rose sauce, fine raviolis, excellent lasagna al forno. Reasonable-moderate. **

Tony Vespa 267 Dizengoff St. and 40 Rothschild Blvd. (03) 546-0000 and (03) 685-8888. Daily 12:00-02:00. Gourmet pizza at a street-side pizzeria. A few seats at a counter but most eat their pizza standing up. Among best of many choices, mozzarella with bacon; four cheeses; mozzarella, onions and mushrooms. Reasonable. **

Toto 4 Berkovich St. (03) 693-5151. Daily 12:00 – 01:00 An attractive if not somewhat noisy setting with quite a few exciting dishes. Start off with carpaccio of amberjack with tapanade, calamaris and shrimps on a bed of white beans, or the proscuitto ham with buffalo mozzarella and figs. As main courses the potato gnocchi with truffle oil, chestnuts and sage may be the best you've eaten and you won't go at all wrong with the thick pork chops or entrecote with root vegetables. Good service, good food! Moderate-Expensive ***



Jewish

Batia 197 Dizengoff St. (03) 522-1335. Daily 11:00-about 21:00. Simplicity personified. Best bets are cholent, gefilte fish, kishke, calf’s foot jelly, roast goose and baked beef. Moderate.*

Elimelech 35 Wolfson St. (03) 5182478. Daily 09:00-01:00. A casual and sometimes noisy Tel Aviv institution serving up excellent bean soup and cold borscht, chopped chicken liver, cholent and kishke and baked beans. Great carrot tzimmis and coleslaw. Beer is the de rigueur beverage. **

Olga 110 Jabotinsky St.. (03) 696-8581. Sun–Thurs 07:00-23:00, Fri until 18:00. A simple café-eatery but with goulash soup good enough to break your heart with nostalgia. Equally good is the Polish krupnik soup with barley, potatoes and beef. Reasonable. *

Shmulik Cohen 146 Herzl St. (03) 681-0222. Sun–Thurs 10:00-22:30. The par excellence heartland of Yiddish culture. Roast goose, chicken soup, cholent with kishke, baked beef. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. **

Meat

Agenda: HaTa'arucha 3, Tel Aviv Port. (03) 544-4418. Daily 12:00-04:00. A nicely desiged upswing shipudia (meats served on skewers). Start with the splendid opening meze of 17 or more dishes, go on to chicken livers, kebabs or whatever other meats beckon. Fun dining. Moderate. **

Charcuterie 3 Rabbi Chanina St 3 (in the Flea Market) Jaffa. Daily 19:00-01:00 Tel (03) 682-8843. Welcoming, lively and just funky enough to make you smile. Very best bets here are the various French, Swiss and Italian style sausages and meats along with roesti or spaetzle, those accompanied by draught beer. Moderate. ***

Dixie 120 Yigal Alon St. (03) 696-6123. 24 hours daily. Stylized and comfortable, between an American steak house and a French brasserie. Phylo dough pizza with goats’ cheese, pickled salmon, shrimps and mussels in Thai sauce and excellent spare ribs, hamburgers and T-Bone steaks. Try also the middle-of-the-night breakfasts, especially the eggs Benedict and home-fried potatoes. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Gilly’s Tel Aviv Port (03) 605-7777. Daily 10:00-03:00. Large, attractive and “laid-back”. Good first courses include fish soup, goose liver terrine and flaky pastry with spinach and Bulgarian cheese. Steaks are special but also good fish and seafood offerings. Moderate-Expensive. **

Meat Bar 52 Chen Blvd. (03) 695-6276. Daily 12:00-24:00. Pleasant surroundings and service. Steaks and burgers are fine here but so are the Caesar salad, the home-made pork sausages and for dessert the apple pie. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Neve Tzedik-The Meat Place 64 Shabazzi St.. (03) 510-4020. Sat-Fri 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-01:00. A comfortable and attractive bar qua steakhouse. Fried calamari with tartare sauce and then fine entrecote, T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks with creamed spinach and fine puree. Moderate. **

NG 6 Ahad HaAm St. (03) 516-7888. Daily 18:00-02:00. An attractive and "in" bar-restaurant. Start with tomato salad with root vegetables or the beet leaves with mozzarella cheese and anchovies. As main courses ask about specials of the day but also consider the good fillet, porterhouse or entrecote steaks and chops. Moderate-Expensive.***

Rotisserie Market 1 Achuzat HaBayt St (03) 5171333. Daily 12:00-01:00. With its large rotisserie grills, calls to mind grilled meat joints popular years ago in French Provence. Start with chicken liver pate, continue with pork spare ribs, and then on to the fine steak cut off a large single cut. Moderate. **

Stefan Braun 99 Allenby. (03) 560-4725. Daily 12:00-03:00. Tucked away in a charming old building, ideal for laid back, late-night dining. Moroccan charira (lamb soup with lentils), baby lamb chops, skewers of entrecote steak and grilled mullard breast. Moderate-Expensive. ***



Middle Eastern, Turkish and Balkan

Dr. Shakshouka (Middle Eastern) 3 Beit Eshel, Jaffa. (03) 682-2842. Sun-Thurs 09:30-24:00, Friday until 17:00, Sat night until 01:00. Simple and noisy but with good shakshouka (spiced egg and tomato casserole), kubbeh (burghul filled with meat, rice and pine nuts). Reasonable. Kosher. *

Mamaia 192 Ben Yehuda. (03) 523-7784. Daily 12:00-24:00. Old World European decor and the simple charms of genuine Balkan cookery. Among the best bets are the ciorba soup, and the mixed grill of steak, liver, kebabs and meat patties. Moderate. *

Shipudai haTkiva HaEtzel 37 (Schoonat haTikva). (03) 687-8014. Sun-Thurs 12:00-02:00, Fri 12:00-17:00, Sat night. Nothing fancy but good grilled meats on skewers and kebabs along with Middle-Eastern and North African salads. Reasonable-Moderate. Kosher. *

Yehuda Avazi 54 HaEtzel (in the HaTikva Quarter). (03) 637-9918. Sun-Thurs 11:00-05:00, Fri until about 17:00, Saturday evenings. Simple but pleasing meze, and grilled meat on skewers. Best bets are grilled goose liver, kebabs, chicken hearts and sheep intestines. Reasonable. Kosher. *

Modern American

Avant-Garde 3 Habarzel St. Ramat Hachayal. (03) 648-0082. Daily 24 hours. A friendly, attractive bar-restaurant in the California tradition. Mozzarella cheese fingers, sea-food soup, burgers topped with fried goose liver. Draught beer is the de rigueur beverage. Reasonable. **

East 12a Hasharon St. (03) 687-7213. Daily 19:00-02:00. Charming blend of New York and the Far East in a fun, sensual atmosphere. Asian-style bouillabaisse, American hamburgers, shrimps or coquilles St. Jacques with teriyaki sauce, coconut flan. Moderate. ***

Moses 35 Rothschild Blvd. (03) 566-4949. Daily 12:00-04:00. A well-designed, comfortably formal but easy-going salon-restaurant. Sliced beef fillet with spicy Oriental sauce, quesadillas with cheddar cheese, onions and chili pepper, chicken nuggets in orange and caramel sauce, chicken fajitas. Good burgers and fun desserts. ***

Moses 26 HaBarzel St, Ramat HaChayal. (03) 649-4747. Daily 12:00-04:00. Highly stylized and lively but with just the right note of sophistication. Tex-Mex quesadillas with ham and cheese, crisply fried calamaris with tarator sauce, excellent burgers (optional cheese and bacon), fine chips as a side order. Moderate. ***

Sergos 8 HaMalacha St. (03) 561-5121. Daily 10:00-02:00. An atmosphere combining that of a Parisian brasserie and a London supper-club. Good first courses include raviolis flled with spinach and goats' cheese and pate of chicken liver. Fine main courses are of the veal T-bone steak and the coquilles St. Jacques on a sauce of finely chopped tomato and pomegranate vinaigrette. Good apple crumble. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Russian

Baba Yaga Hayarkon St. 12, (03) 5167305. Daily 12:00-23:00. Franco-Russian cuisine in an appealing setting with a nice garden. Liver pate with pistachio nuts, borscht, beef Strogonoff, varenikis, good chocolate desserts. Moderate-Expensive. **




Spanish


Charcuterie 3 Rabbi Chanina St 3 (in the Flea Market) Jaffa. Daily 19:00-01:00 Tel (03) 682-8843. Welcoming, lively and just funky enough to make you smile. Very best bets here are the various French, Swiss and Italian style sausages and meats along with roesti or spaetzle, those accompanied by draught beer. Moderate. ***

La Champa 52 Nachalat Binyamin. (077) 200-8636. Daily 12:00-02:00. A true Spanish tapas bar at which one eats standing at the bar, the only beverage being sparkling Cava wines. Delicious Salamanca and Serrano hams, croquettes with ham and a rich ali-oli sauce, chorizo sausages, and fine cheeses. Casual and great fun. Moderate. **

Pinxos 57 Nachalat Binyamin. (03) 566-5505. Daily 19:00-03:00. A comfortable and near-elegant setting for truly fine pinxos (call those tapas if you like). Pickled palamadi fish, Proscuitto ham and Parmesan cheese; potato tortillas; seafood paella, coquilles St Jacques on skewers, Manchego cheese. What the heck – everything is good here. Good wine list and fine service. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Tapas Ahad HaAm 27 Ahad HaAm St. Tel 03 5666966. Chef Jonathan Roshfeld's latest venture and a fabulous tapas bar, true in every way to its Spanish roots. Simply let yourself go wild here. On my last visit, for example, I sampled 17 different tapas, every one of which was excellent. Go for the house wine. Moderate-Expensive depending only on how much you enjoy yourself. ****

Tapeo: 16 Ha’Arba’a Street. (03) 624-0484. Daily 19:00-02:00.. Handsomely designed and comfortable tapas bar. Best bets include ceviches of croaker and coquilles St. Jacques, chorizo sausages, beef empenadas. Don't miss the churros dessert pastries. Moderate–Expensive. ***


Wine Bars

HaBasta 4 HaShomer St. (in the Carmel Market). (03) 516-9234. Sun-Fri 08:00-02:00. Small, somewhat crowded but charming and with a friendly crowd. Good mini-offerings and a good wine list, call this a tapas bar or a wine bar as you like.Oysters with a glass of Champagne, bruschetta with mussels, calamari and mackerel, vitello tomato, chocolate semi-fredo. Good fun. Moderate-Expensive. **

Methuselah 16 Uriel Acosta St, in the Florentine Quarter. (03) 681-1018. Daily 09:00-01:00. A friendly wine bar on an attractive street. Good selection of wine by the glass plus potato gnocchi made special by the addition of bits of anchovy; whole sardines with fried chalumi cheese and fine focaccia. Sit outdoors and you will think you are in Paris or Arles. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Wine Bar 36 Nachalat Binyamin. (03) 510-2923. Sun-Fri 12:00-01:00, Sat 19:00-24:00. With wines listed on a chalkboard, good merguez sausages, bass seviche, calamari on sautéed eggplant, slices of rump steak topped with a fried egg. Fun whether at the bar or at a table outside. Reasonable. **

Yo’ezer Wine Bar 2 Yo’ezer Ish Habira (opposite the clock tower), Jaffa. (03) 683-9115. Daily 13:00-01:00. One of my personal favorites. Exquisite interior, a superb wine list, good service and excellent cuisine without pretensions. Blinis with caviar, pate de campagne, cote d’agneau, smoked ham, roast and corned beef. Moderate-Expensive. ****

Potpourri


Bariba Beit Derekh HaYam, Tel Aviv Port. (03) 604-4044. Sun-Thurs 10:00-01:00; Fri 08:30-13:00. Light, airy and attractive, said to feature food that is "good for us". Good beet soup with truffle oil and crème fraiche, polenta with mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, grilled salmon dishes and good desserts. Moderate. **

Betty Ford 48 Nachalat Binyamin. (03) 510-0650. Sat-Thurs 12:00-03:00, Fri from 16:00. A comfortable and welcoming bar-restaurant. Start with matboucha, mini-meatballs or spiced chicken wings, go on to good chorizo sausages or the spareribs. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Carpaccio 8 Ibn Gvirol St. (03) 609-8118. Daily 12:00-01:00. Nothing at this tiny eatery but but what the name claims – carpaccio. Best bet is the sirloin carpaccio with coarse salt, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and fine bits of Parmesan cheese. A fun quick meal. Reasonable. **

Comme Il Faut Tel Aviv Port, Hanger 26. (03) 544-9211. Daily 09:00-01:00. Modern, stylish and attractive, with a lovely view of the sea. Good chickpea salad, fish seviche, grilled chicken with polenta, shrimps on rice. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Hatraklin: 41Nachalat Binyamin St. (03) 566-0013. Daily 19:00-24:30. Tel 03 5660013. A pleasant bar-restaurant with a good wine list. Simple, fun cuisine includes chopped chicken liver, chicken wings in honey, chili and garlic sauce, 250 gram hamburgers with a truffle spread. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Heder Ochail 23 Shaul ha Melech 23 (in the courtyard of the Golda Center. (03) 696-6188. Daily 12:00-24:00. Nostalgia rules supreme in this upswing version of a kibbutz dining room. As starters chopped chicken liver, cauliflower in lemon-rich tchina sauce, eggplant cream, sardine fillets with white beans. As a main course try the blackened chicken confit. For dessert, the crème Bavaria or the apple strudel. A restaurant to love or to hate but definitely worthtrying. Moderate. ***


Little Prague 56 Allenby St. (03) 516-8136. Sun-Thurs 12:00 – 02:00. Genuine Czech food in a simple but charming setting. As openers, soft cheese with salami, fine potato pancakes and as main courses pork shoulder with white cabbage with potato dumplings or fried pork sausages. Beer is the de rigueur beverage. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Joz Vey Loz 51 Yehuda HaLevi St. (03) 560-6385. Sun-Thurs 18:00-03:00. One of the smallest and possibly the most funky restaurant in town but packed with charm. Dried salted sardines as starting tidbits, mini-quiche with Stilton cheese and pears; mushroom risotto; shrimps in butter and garlic sauce; good salads. Plum tarte for dessert. Reasonable-Moderate. **

Maya Taco: 54 Ibn Gvirol St. (03) 696-0304. Daily 12:00-01:00. A definite step above the many taco bars around these days. Best bets. taco with entrecote steak, refried beans guacamole, onion, coriander and the spicy house mayonnaise sauce. Also try the Sloppy Joe sandwich. Reasonable. **

Molly Bloom’s 32 Mendele St. (03) 522-1558. Daily 16:00-02:00. A hyper-real imitation of an Irish Pub that turns out fun (if not great) shepherd’s pie, fish ‘n chips, roast beef, all good matches to the Guinness and Kilkenny Harp draught beers. Reasonable. *

Nana 1 Ahad HaAm St, Neve Tzedek. (03) 516-1915. Daily 12:00-02:00. A very “in” attractive bar-restaurant. Best bets are gravlax and confit of goose liver as starters and entrecote steak with maitre d’hotel butter or various shrimp dishes as main courses. Moderate. **


Orna and Ella 33 Shenkin St. (03) 620-4753. Sun-Fri 10:00-01:00, Sat from 11:00. If anything reflects the "Shenkin Street ethos" (something akin to Greenwich Village, circa 1970) it is this beloved and pleasant café-restaurant. Delicious fresh breads, fine carrot soup, sweet potato pancakes, pear and carrot cakes. Beakfast, lunch andght dinners. Reasonable-Moderate. ***

Susannah 9 Shabazzi Street, Neve Tzedek. (03) 517-7580. Daily 10:00 – 01:00. Simple but fun Mediterranean dining. Best bets are mezes, including the tabbouleh, green felafel balls, leeks in lemon sauce and mutton meat balls. For dessert, the hot chocolate soufflé. Reasonable-Moderate. *

Tazza d'Oro 6 Ahad Ha'Am St. (03) 516-2329. Daily 09:00-23:30. With the well-worn appearance of
a justifiably popular hangout, offering good masbacha (warm humous with chickpeas, lemon and olive
oil), grilled eggplant with thick green tchina and fine labane as openers. As light main courses goat's
cheese in kadaif pastry, beef burgers served with demi-glace sauce and good tiramisu for
dessert. Reasonable-Moderate. **



JERUSALEM AND AREA

Country Style


Rama’s Kitchen in the village of Nataf. (02) 570-0954. Thurs 18:00-24:00, Fri 10:00-24:00 and nights of the full moon. Informal, with a superb view of the Jerusalem hills and Mediterranean-Arabic style food that always pleases. Chicken livers with balsamic vinegar and coarse salt, cubes of lamb seasoned in the Iraqi fashion, confit avaz. Moderate. ***

Far Eastern

Kohinor (Indian) Holiday Inn Hotel. (02) 658-8867. Sun-Thurs 12:00-16:00 and 18:00-24:00, Sat night. The Taj Mahal or the Disneyland of Jerusalem, but with unquestionable charm and good tandoori chicken, lamb curry, lamb chops in masala sauce. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. **

Sakura (Japanese) 31 Jaffa Rd. (02) 623-5464. Daily 12:00-23:00. Nothing fancy in the decor but among the best and perhaps the most genuinely Japanese cuisine in the country. Sushi and sashimi, miso soup, cold noodle dishes, tepanyaki, teriyaki and sukiyaki style dishes. Moderate. ***

Fish and Seafood

Dagim BaHatzer In the Feingold Courtyard, Rehov Jaffa 31. Sun-Thurs 12:00-24:00, Friday 12:00-16:00, Sat from close of Shabbat. Tucked into a charming courtyard, a fish restaurant with fine opening meze, excellent deep fried red mullets and fish falafels and, as main courses a variety of fresh water and salt water fish grilled or fried. Pleasant dining in an attractive setting. Moderate. Kosher. **

Dolphin Yam: 9 Ben Shetach St. (02) 623-2272. Daily 12:00-24:00. Nothing pretentious here but good fish and seafood specialties in a lovely setting. Good opening meze of nine salads and then coquilles St. Jacques with a white wine and sage sauce or fried calamaris. Reasonable-Moderate. **


French

Arcadia 10 Agrippas St. (02) 624-9138. Mon-Sat 12:30-15:00 and 19:00-23:30. A beautiful setting and often exquisite and creative dishes make this one of the best restaurants in the country. Tradition and modernity come together very well in dishes such as the bass tartar, grouper with saffron sauce, goose liver with jam of baby eggplants. Expensive. *****

Eldad VeyZehoo: 31 Jaffa St. (in the Feinbold Courtyard). (02) 634-7033. Sun-Thurs 12:00-24:00, Fri until an hour before Shabat, Sat night until 24:00. Comfortable and just casual enough. Try the goose liver with Calados sauce or the veal carpaccio as first courses. Good veal sweetbreads and fillet steak in red wine sauce as main courses and a good apple tart for dessert. Moderate-Expensive. ***

Canela 8 Shlomtzion HaMalcha St. (02) 622-2293. Sun-Thurs 12:00-17:00 and 19:00-24:00, Fri 12:00-17:00, Sat from close of Shabbat. Attractive, just formal enough with fine service and creative cuisine. Good openers include grilled eggplant on green tchina, sweet potato soup. Main courses iunclude gnocchi with green peas and excellent goose-leg confit. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. ***

Cavalier 1 Ben Sira St.. (02) 624-2945. Daily 12:30-16:00 and 18:30-23:30. Pleasing atmosphere with a good wine list. Among my favorites: tuna sashimi, goose liver terrine, veal brains with lemon-butter sauce, coquilles St. Jacques with artichokes and nuts and beef fillet a la Troisgros. Moderate- Expensive. ****

Gabriel 7 Ben Shetach St, Nachalat Shiva, Jerusalem. (02) 624-6444. Sun-Thurs 12:00-23:00, Sat from close of Shabbat-24:00. An attractive and comfortable restaurant set on a stone-paved street offering French-Mediterranean. Among best offerings are mini lamb kebabs, gravlax and goose leg confit. Moderate. Kosher. **



North African and Middle Eastern


Darna 3 Horkanus St. (02) 624-5406. Sun-Thurs 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-24:00, Sat night. Beautiful and authentic Moroccan setting. Pie with Cornish hen and almonds, lamb and lentil soup, lamb tagine with prunes, excellent couscous. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. **

Philadelphia 9 Zahara St. (02) 628-9770 and 1 Shimon Hatzadik St. (02) 582-2472. Simple but good regional dishes in both branches of these popular Jerusalem restaurants. Good meze followed by kebabs, shishliks, lamb tagines, or grilled, herbed fish. Moderate. *

Sima 82 Agrippas St. (02) 623-3002. Sun-Thurs 10:00-01:00, Sat from 20:00. Most come to this ultimately simple Jerusalem landmark to feast on “Jerusalem grill” (chicken hearts and livers, bits of lamb all seasoned marvelously and fried with onion and garlic). Reasonable. Kosher. *


Potpourri

Mona 12 Shmuel Hanagid St. (02) 622-2283. Sun-Thurs 12:00-15:30, 19:00-01:00. Relaxed atmosphere in an charming old stone building. Best bets include grilled shrimps on Swiss chard, salmon tartar, grilled fillet of sea bream. Moderate. **

Olive 36 Emek Refa'im St. (02) 561-1102. Easy-going country-style dining in a simple but pleasant atmosphere. Eggplant filled with tchina, beef kebabs, goose breast on a green salad. Reasonable-Moderate Kosher. *

Selina 24 Emek Refa'eem St. (02) 567-2049. Open Sun-Thurs 12:00-23:00, Fri 12:00-16:00 and Saturday from the close of Shabbat. Good beef carpaccio topped with mushrooms, chicken wings in a spicy peanut butter sauce, entrecote with herbed olive oil sauce.. Moderate. Kosher **

Shmil BaMa'abada 28 Derekh Hevron, Jerusalem. (02) 673-1629, Sun 18:00-24:00; Mon-Thurs 09:30-24:00; Fri afternoons and Sat from close of Shabbat -01:00. Set behind the old Jerusalem railroad station, charmingly re-done. Fine opening meze of labane, tabbouleh, pickled red peppers and zucchini. Don't miss the potato kreplach but also consider the eggplant pastry in casserole, and for dessert the platter of pastries. Reasonable-Moderate. Kosher. ***

Paradiso 36 Keren Hayesod St. (02) 563-4805. Sun-Fri 10:00-01:00, Sat 12:00-02:00. Appealing café-restaurant with good antipasti, potato gnocchi and chicken in the Cordon Bleu style. Wines by glass or bottle and good pastries. **
no avatar
User

David Scop

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

54

Joined

Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:48 pm

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by David Scop » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:17 am

I wonder why the Jerusalem section is relatively thin?

Is Menorah Cafe in the Old City still operational?
Village Green on Jaffa Road?
Benny Dagim?

Thank you for the post just the same, I see new places each year on the list.
A promising sign.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:16 am

David, Hi.....

The Jerusalem section is "thin" largely because:

(a) Many of the places there would be best categorized as cafe-restaurants and with only rare exceptions do those enter my guide.
(b) Many of the restaurants in Jerusalem do not meet my standards for the minimum one star of quality to be recommended
(c) Well over 75% of the restaurants in the country are actually located within the greater Tel Aviv Metropolitan area

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Mike_F

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

617

Joined

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:56 pm

Location

Rehovot, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Mike_F » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:49 am

Rogov - A number of contacts have recommended Chakra on King George Street in Jerusalem - have you tried it?
Other Jerusalem contacts have been disappointed by recent meals at Arcadia - when was your last visit there?

thanks,

Mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
Richard Dawkins
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:01 am

Mike, Hi....

Indeed Chakra is a place I must re-visit. I have heard about great improvements since my last visit.
With re Arcadia- last visit was about 2 months ago. And, by chance, will be returning there within the next week-ten days.

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

David Scop

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

54

Joined

Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:48 pm

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by David Scop » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:36 pm

Looks like I need to go to Sima next time I'm in town.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:28 pm

David, Hi.....

Indeed you must. The mey'urav Yerushalmi (mixed Jerusalem grill) served there has qualities that are godlike in quality. And very best bet is not to order a plate but to have it on a pita accompanied by sours and a few mezes.
Following is an excerpt from a piece I wrote about Sima in 1992. Even though the place has gone through a bit of re-doing, wat was true then is equally true today.


The Truth About Sima
Daniel Rogov



Tucked in between a collection of tinsmiths, greengrocers, bak-
eries that specialize in pitot and bagels and several childrens'
clothing stores there are twenty two restaurants on Jerusalem's
Rehov Agrippas. The physical resemblance between them is remark-
able. Every one of these places announces itself to be a "restaur-
ant-steakia", the kind of inexpensive eateries where the most in-
escapable fact of life is the aroma of meat cooking on charcoal
grills. Each features formica tables and imitation leather uphol-
stery on the chairs. If there are tablecloths and napkins at all,
they are made of paper. There are other similarities as well, but
the most remarkable is that whether they feature fifty tables or
five, each of these places offers a virtually identical menu and
what is served astonishes first-time visitors by its high quality
and low price.

Even though there is nothing fancy about these time-honored
Jerusalem institutions, just about everybody comes here to eat.
Knesset members, pop singers, government ministers, and television
personalities all vie with members of the general population for
the limited number of available places. Interestingly enough, this
is one of the few places where Israelis wait patiently in line.
When it comes to good, simple food, rank has no privileges.

Even though each restaurant offers a variety of Middle-Eastern
and Mediterranean salads and grilled meats, the best known dish on
the street is the one known as "me'urav yerushalmi", the Hebrew
term for a Jerusalem mixed-grill of chicken livers, hearts and
spleens and bite-sized pieces of lamb, all fried with generous
amounts of onion and garlic. These are only the begining of the
story, however, for every cook has has his or her own secret
combination of herbs and spices that makes theirs "the best". As
to who's version is actually the best, a clear majority is to the effect that
the very best comes from Sima.

Despite its dark, almost gloomy atmosphere Sima is nearly always
crowded. With five tables inside, a few stools at the counter and
several rickety tables and chairs set on the sidewalk, this place
is best described as shabby, but once one has tasted the mixed
grill, it is clear why this eatery is so revered. One of the own-
ers, zealously guarding his secret combination of spices, revealed
only the obvious, that he uses allspice, black pepper, cumin, tur-
meric and coriander. With a smile he also told me that they also
use something known as "Georgian pepper". That there is not a
living soul within five thousand kilometers who can identify this
mysterious seasoning is more than mere coincidence. Whatever the
secret ingredient, this is marvellous fare and a huge portion of
the truly excellent me'urav yerushalmi packed into a pita, and
served with small but adequate side-dishes of really good cole
slaw, pickles, olives, turkish salad and a soft drink or beer will
cost only about $7.00, surely one of the best values for money to
be found anywhere.
no avatar
User

Rani Osnat

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

38

Joined

Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:08 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Rani Osnat » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:10 pm

Hi Rogov,

A few omissions in Tel Aviv, places I frequent every so often:
Gusto - On Sderot Chen opposite Meat Bar - best pizza, by far, that I've had in Israel (Roman style).
Nanutchka - bar/restaurant with Georgian food on Lilienblum. Always crowded and lively.
Benedict - (2 branches that I know of) - extremely popular 24x7 breakfast place
Sheila - on Ben Yehuda - restaurant/bar with excellent seafood dishes

Except Gusto, which is pretty new, the other places are what I would call "establishments", with many regulars among their customers.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:15 pm

Rani Osnat wrote:A few omissions in Tel Aviv, places I frequent every so often:
Gusto - On Sderot Chen opposite Meat Bar - best pizza, by far, that I've had in Israel (Roman style).
Nanutchka - bar/restaurant with Georgian food on Lilienblum. Always crowded and lively.
Benedict - (2 branches that I know of) - extremely popular 24x7 breakfast place
Sheila - on Ben Yehuda - restaurant/bar with excellent seafood dishes



Rani, Hi....

Two points - (a) Keep in mind that the places on my list are those that I have visited and consider worthy of recommendation and (b) like Curnonsky, I regret that I have only one mouth and one stomach to give to my profession.

Gusto - on my list to be visited
Nanutchka - popular and lively indeed but I find the food and service seriously lacking
Bendeict - also extremely popular but I find the food seriously lacking
Sheila - will be entered in the guide next week

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Rani Osnat

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

38

Joined

Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:08 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Rani Osnat » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:42 pm

Rogov, maybe this is the place to ask, though slightly off-topic - how come there are no half-decent Chinese restaurants in Tel Aviv (at least not since Aharoni closed the original Yin Yang)? Instead we have "Asian" establishments that mostly serve Western variants of Thai and Vietnamese food.
Chinese food is still immensely popular in London, NY, Paris, San Francisco, even Rome... what happened here? I have no where to satisfy my cravings for crispy duck or kung pow chicken...
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:42 am

Rani, Hi....

Going back ten to fifteen years or so there were in fact several good Chinese restaurants to be found - mostly hyper-simple places in Ramle and Tel Aviv and even in Tiberias and along the shoreline of the Kinerret (Sea of Galilee). What more or less sounded the death knoll of either true Chinese cookery or Sino American cookery was the influx of Thai workers into the country and the decision of restaurant owners to aim in the quasi Thai, quasi Indian, quasi Japanese direction - and that as a potpourri featuring the cannibalized cuisine of each under the sometimes name of "Chinese" and sometimes "Far Eastern".

There remain quite a few of these places, including a few Chinese that are popular but indeed do not meet the standards of China, yet alone of the UK or even the USA.

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Ezra G

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

12

Joined

Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Ezra G » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:26 pm

Hi Daniel:

I agree that top notch Jerusalem restaurants are lacking. That said, have you tried Keyara or Sheyan in Jerusalem. A couple can eat there comfortably for about 500 NIS include apps, entre, and a few glasses of wine. I've been impressed by the food and especially by the service, which is generally abhorrent in Jerusalem.

Anyways, I'm just the amateur. Let me know if you or your colleagues have any thoughts.

Regards,
Ezra
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:54 pm

Ezra. Hi and Welcome to The Forum....

I've not dined at (nor in truth heard of) either of the two restaurants you name. I will certainly do my homework and get to them in the near future.

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Sharon-Noam

Rank

Just got here

Posts

1

Joined

Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:13 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Sharon-Noam » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:41 pm

Hi Rogov and hello all,

Unless We've missed it, MakhneYuda - unique and refreshing - seems to be missing in your list.
We'd love to hear your comments about it.

Noam.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:56 pm

Noam, Hello and Welcome to the Forum....

I have dined three times at Mahane Yehuda but will not write a formal review until one more visit. My logic is quite simple in this case.....first time I dined there all was splendid; second time much was mediocre; third time some was fine, some not at all fine. Too much a case of yom assal, yom bassal*, so my fourth visit will rule.

Best
Rogov


*Arabic for "one day onion, one day honey" - that is to say, one day all is well, next day not so well.
no avatar
User

MarkC

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

34

Joined

Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:58 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by MarkC » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:39 am

I don't see how the influx of Thai workers could have effected the restaurant scene, as these unfortunate visitors could not possibly have the income to ever eat in restaurants, nor will you ever see them there. What did sound the death knell for Chinese restaurants was a combination of economics and trends. They, and the filipina domestics, did create a demand for Asian food products in the local grocers. But it was the discovery of noodles as the most profitable restaurant item on the planet, and the success of these types of restaurants in London and elsewhere, that ushered in the new age of noodle bar/fusion style Asian restaurants. The absence of any Chinatowns in Israel meant that people didn't grow up with moo shu pork and kung pao shrimp, and hence there was never any demand for specifically Chinese food (or any other native Asian food), except among homesick Americans. Japanese seems to be the only native food category with an intense demand in Israel. I don't know why, but I'm guessing it has something to do with sushi= good + non-fattening equation. The kind of Chinese food you get in Chinatown is supposed to be among the unhealthiest of things you can eat.
no avatar
User

MarkC

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

34

Joined

Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:58 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by MarkC » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:44 am

By the way, I found Terra, Adom, and Zuni to be very good choices in Jerusalem. I believe all three are non-kosher.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:46 am

Mark, Hi...

I did not make myself clear. The influx of Thai workers impacted on the restaurant industry in a major way not as diners but as workers in the kitchens. True, a few Thais have actually opened restaurants of their own, some for the general public and some in neighborhoods populated heavily by Thais and some of those are actually quite authentic and excellent.

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Mike_F

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

617

Joined

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:56 pm

Location

Rehovot, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Mike_F » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:27 pm

Rogov and all,

Any opinions on The Pizza, Bograshov 15, Tel-Aviv?

What are the current most highly recommended pizza joints in town?

thanks,

Mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
Richard Dawkins
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:35 pm

Mike, Hi....

With apologies, I am in the midst of doing a major pizza tasting now for a special feature in HaAretz. If I print the results now my editor will justifiably (a) have a fit and (b) put out a contract on me. The only hint I'll give at this point is that so far the very best pizzas I have found in Israel are at Radio Rosco.

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

MarkC

Rank

Wine geek

Posts

34

Joined

Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:58 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by MarkC » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:59 am

Hi Daniel;

Could you please list some of these "excellent and authentic" restaurants opened by Thais? I am, alas, one of these homesick Americans longing for good, traditional Asian dishes.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:57 am

Mark, Hi...

In Tel Aviv: Thai House 8 Bograshov St. (03) 517-8568. Daily 12:00-23:00. Simple setting with good dumplings filled with chicken and vegetables, shrimps with mushrooms and chili peppers, stir-fried vegetables. Reasonable. **

Several others that have continued are to be found in Ramle but I do not have addresses for those. Will try to locate them.

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Yariv H

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

129

Joined

Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:00 am

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Yariv H » Thu May 20, 2010 4:52 am

Hi Rogov,
I am looking for the best Kosher restaurant in Tel-Aviv (Hertzelia will also work), one with a good wine selection and of international standard. I hope it exists, if you have a few I would love the choice :-)
Best Regards,
Yariv
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Israeli Restaurant Guide-Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 20, 2010 7:08 am

Yariv, Hi….

Several acceptable and even good kosher restaurants in the area these days. The two that I find myself going to when entertaining guests who keep kashrut are Lilith in Tel Aviv and The Meat and Wine Company in Herzliya, the first of which good enough that I go even on my own when kashrut is not importance, the second more casual and more for carnivores.


Lilith 4 Weissman St. (in Beit Asia), Tel Aviv. (03) 609-1331. Sun-Thurs 12:00-24:00. Stylishly designed, this upswing restaurant offers fine French-Mediterranean cuisine. Tomato soup, gnocchi alla Romana with porcini mushrooms as openers. As main courses the delicious stew of lamb neck with root vegetables, and the siniya. Moderate-Expensive. Kosher. ****

The Meat and Wine Co. 16 Shenkar St. Herzliya Pituach. (09) 956-7006. Sun-Thurs, 12:00-24:00, Fri 12:00-16:00, Sat 21:30-24:00. Attractive restaurant featuring South African and international meat dishes. Munch on some biltong before gong on to boer woer sausages, the red tuna tatare, steaks, roasts or burgers. Moderate. Kosher ***

Best
Rogov
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign