8 Shlomzion Hamalka, Jerusalem
Tel: 077-214-7755, 02-5635577
Kashrut: Rabbanut Yerusahalayim. Meat glatt rabbanut LYisrael. Chickens mehadrin. vegetables mehadrin shmita L'chumra.
Sunday - Thursday: 11:30 am till 12:00 midnight. Friday till one hour before Shabbat. After Shabbat till 12:00 midnight. Closed Shabbat.
Updated May 2015
La Boca restaurant on Shlomzion Hamalka Street is on ground level and is wheelchair friendly. Upstairs there is a private party room. This location is a step up for La Boca and we cannot wait to try it ourselves. The amazing menu stays the same. We have it on good word from folks who live in Israel and tourists from abroad that La Boca restaurant competes with the best restaurants in Israel and New York.
August Fish Menu for 3 Weeks
The restaurant opens to a large seating area, a smaller area around the bend and a comfortable enclosed porch overlooking the busy street. This “perch” above the shops affords a great view of the teeming street. In warm weather you can also enjoy an outdoor patio with bar seating. The open patio would be the place to hold a private party avoiding walk-in traffic.
La Boca is a Latin American meat restaurant with fish alternatives and a nod to vegetarian diners. We were three friends for an early dinner one midweek winter night. The enclosed patio was quiet and cozy and perfect for our visit together.
Usually Spanish music sets the mood, but the music is not guaranteed.
The La Boca Menu
La Boca is a fine steak restaurant. What does a vegetarian eat at La Boca? See A Vegetariam at La Boca's Happy Tale.
The meal starts with the house bread and tasty spreads. The bread is warm, crispy and delicious. Be sure not to fill up on it because there are many delicious dishes ahead.
We started our meal in this heavy meat restaurant with two non-meaty starters. I didn't expect to eat much of the Peruvian inspired tuna ceviche. This, after all, is cured but not cooked fish. Out came a beautiful platter with a ring of fish salad in the center surrounded by fried tortillas. All I needed was one taste and I was in. For our second starter we enjoyed vegetarian empanadas. They were a bit spicy for my taste, topped with chimichurri sauce and kusbara (cilantro) but my dining partners were quite happy with this appetizer. Both dishes were generous and beautifully presented. Two starters were enough for the three of us, and we anxiously awaited our main course.
For our main we shared the grill platter for two, and one fish platter. This mixed grill is the signature dish at La Boca and it is what you come here for. This incredibly generous platter suggested for two would have certainly been enough for three or even four diners. It contained enough lamb chops - everyone's favorite - to go around. Then there was steak, grilled chicken breast, and small spicy hot dogs. All of these delicious meats were served in a huge platter over crispy potatoes.
Although the meat is the calling card at La Boca, the fish main course did not disappoint. The salmon steak was served on a bed of rice. The fish was perfectly prepared, delicious and satisfying. How do you make this? It is all in the fish, says chef Guy. Good fresh Norwegian fish is the secret. I don't believe it. In addition to fresh and high end ingredients, you have to know what to do with them. And this is Guy's expertise.
Chef Guy Kimche is eleventh generation Yerushalmi. His family still owns a home in East Jerusalem. In his post-army trek to South America he discovered Latin American cuisine and the rest was history. He returned to Jerusalem, attended culinary school, interned at some of the better restaurants in Tel Aviv, and then returned to Jerusalem to open La Boca. The menu at this restaurant keeps changing and the food just keeps getting better.
A description of La Boca would not be complete without mentioning the solicitous and knowledgeable service. Our waiter anticipated our needs, and was our guide to the wine selections, so that we could have a nice social evening with together.
For dessert we had hot choroz fried pastry which was served with a delicious halva parfait. As we lingered over our glass of wine, Tishbi Pinot Noir, the lights of Jerusalem flickered in the background and took us to faraway places.
The La Boca cuisine is a fusion of flavors and aromas from different South American countries. Guy Kimchi elaborates:
"We have collected the leading local delicacies from every country in Latin America and adapted them to suit the Israeli palate. For example 'Sabiche,' the national dish in Peru, is less sour at La Boca than in the streets of Lima and Cuzco. Indeed, this dish has been getting compliments since the day we opened."
|LA BOCA - A VEGETARIAN'S HAPPY TALE
Submitted by Arnie Draiman. February 2015. firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the incredible pleasure of eating at La Boca one evening. Those who know me, know that I am a vegetarian, and often jest about what can I eat in a meat restaurant, especially an upscale Argentinian steak and grill restaurant.
Well, calling all vegetarians! La Boca is for you. Guy Kimche is a young and very talented chef who enjoys cooking. You taste it and see it in everything he does. Guy had advance warning that I was coming - we had called a day or two in advance and told him that there would be a 'serious vegetarian foodie' in the group.
Guy said no problem (and in fact, if you give him a day or two notice, he will happily cater to any special dietary needs). La Boca always has one or two items on the menu which are non-meat. But tonight, there was a veritable smorgasbord (that's Spanish for "amazing spread") of veggie dishes.
I started with the lentil soup. Lentils are easily over cooked and mushy - not here. And the dark tasty soup was seasoned to perfection, in the style of traditional lentil soup and not a tangy lemony one.
In addition to the soup, we were served a superb focaccia with three types of spreads: pesto, tehina, and spiced tomatoes. Fresh bread is always a treat, and this one was nice and crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.
I always get concerned (at weddings and such) that I need to fill up on the appetizers because the main course might just be some string beans and potatoes. So, just in case, I had some empanadas (though Guy makes them in a roll, like sushi, and not closed like a sambusak). These were heaven - filled with sauted mangold, corn, and mushrooms and then drizzled with a chimichurri sauce.
Feeling sorry for the others at the table, I shared the empanadas. Everyone loved them. So, I also had another most amazing dish - one I would never have ordered anywhere else, but by now, it was clear to me that I could rely on Guy to shine. This dish consisted of a base of sweet potato chips covered with creamed chestnuts and mushrooms. Be sure to ask for this one in advance during chestnut season. (As they say, omG!) And again, I shared, and everyone devoured it.
Guy brought over for those who wanted to taste it, a nice cold, fish cerviche, served in a martini glass with avocado, sprouts, and kiwi. (Those didn't last long either)
For the main course, I had the three-colored gnocchi and an ice-cold San Miguel beer on tap. The beer was a perfect drink with this array of well spiced (but not spicy) South American cuisine.
The three-colored gnocchi consisted of green (made with spinach), orange (made with sweet potatoes), and white (made with potatoes). It was served with on a bed of mangold, spinach, broccoli and chestnuts, with a coconut curry sauce. There isn't a dairy (or meat) restaurant out there that can compete with Guy.
Dessert was delicious, as expected by this point in the evening! We had the apple pie and the alfajores. The apple pie was better than my mom's, and the alfajores were chocolate/coconut. They were served with two kinds of sorbet: mango (tart, sweet, and tasty), and malabi (that usually dairy treat, here made parve, of course - a frozen custard rose water pudding served as a sorbet) and served with a delicious forest berry sauce.
So, there you have it. There is no excuse for you vegetarians not to take your friends and family to La Boca. Go and Enjoy - it is worth every shekel.
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