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7 Shenkar Street, Herzlia Pituach
Tel: 09-9511177
Kashrut: Rabbanut Herzlia

Open Sunday - Thursday, 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight. Friday from 12:00 until two hours before Shabbat. Saturday night one hour after Shabbat until 12:00 midnight. Closed Shabbat.

This write up was submitted by Arthur Lampert
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Revised: September 2019

Etnika is an Israeli ethnic and grill restaurant on Shenkar Street, in the Herzlia high tech park. The restaurant has been around since at least 2011, and we have been there more than once, since this is an eLuna favorite. Previously we reviewed the grilled meats from the Etnika’s Butchery section of the menu, for which they are justifiably famous. This time we focused on the ethnic dishes for which the restaurant is named. They don’t call it Etnika for nothing.

The ambience is one of light colors in a modern design with Middle Eastern elements such as decorative Armenian plates, tiled tables and a wall of copper and silver trays. More intimate eating areas are created by subdividing the cavernous room with raised platforms, low dividers and raised serving areas. There is a bar and distinctly Moroccan background music from the speakers throughout our visit, but not so loud as to make talking difficult. .

Our foray into the ethnic menu began with 2 appetizers. The appetizers are served sharing style, with dishes laid out across the table for all to partake. Some of the dishes are Israeli standards, but most have distinctly Moroccan roots.

The restaurant has cleverly included enough non meat and vegetarian dishes to satisfy everyone. The parade of dishes began with a portion of falafel balls served with a small bowl of tahina as a sauce, and a plate of two Frena pitot on the side. Frena pitot are elongated rather than round, thicker than standard pitot, but close enough to be second cousins to both pitot and focaccia. My companion especially liked the falafel with tahini which was mild on the spicing.

Suddenly there was no room on the table, as out came the Etnika Experience. This is a large round copper tray with seven plates of Meze, a selection of Middle Eastern style salads, and a large bowl of finely chopped Israeli vegetable salad flavored with herbs. The tray is placed in the middle of the table and is meant to be shared by all the diners, Middle East style. Our large tray was the “mini” Etnika Experience. It took two waiters to carry the full Monty with at least twice as many plates and bowls, that was served at another table for a much larger group.

Our mini Etnika experience included tabbouleh, a mild artichoke salad with a lemon dressing, a small bowl of humus with tahina, a spicy matbucha, a mildly spicy carrot salad, a cherry tomato salad, and a warm salad of fried mushrooms with onions. We were overwhelmed by the flavors and the quantities of food. I guess that is how a Moroccan prince eats. And we hadn’t gotten to the main courses yet.

Next came two meat dishes from the Appetizers menu: Moroccan cigars and Lahmanjoun. The Moroccan cigars are crispy dough cylinders stuffed with a ground meat and herb mixture that is slightly sweet thanks to the herbs. The cigars were larger than I have had elsewhere, hot, very crispy and tasty. They were my favorite starter. Lahmanjoun is a classic Middle Eastern dish of minced meat on top of pitot. The Etnika Lachmajoun included two Frena pitot with a minced meat mixture on top, decorated with a drizzle of tahini. This tasty dish went well with the spicier dishes on the copper tray.

I love lamb, and shawarma is one of my favorite street foods, so before I realized how much food there would be in the first course I ordered the Lamb Shawarma for a main. The lamb shawarma that Etnika prepares is not street food; it is definitely suitable for an upscale restaurant like Etnika. It is a generous portion of shredded lamb piled on two Frena pitot, with a parve yogurt dressing on the side, and decorated with parsley, whole hot peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes. It was quite tasty, and also went well with the matbucha and spicier dishes from the "Experience."

I finally cried uncle and asked the waiter to clear the table for dessert. We were treated to a plate of halva and pistachio ice cream garnished with halva fibers and caramelized pecans. This was absolutely irresistible. As a lighter fare, there was a dish of three cool fruit flavors of sorbet made in house, including mango and strawberry. Finally there was the house specialty of coconut “sushi”, cold vanilla ice cream rolls wrapped in chocolate. My companion particularly liked this dish.

As we left, we were handed a small pack with a challah roll and two shabbat candles. We were told that this is the custom every Thurday evening at Etnika.

In addition to the ethnic dishes, Etnika has a large butchery section on the menu.
The restaurant offers quality meats from the Golan Heights:
- Lamb chops
- Angus Steak
- Entrecote
- Beef Fillet.
Enjoy the new Mix Grill dish with a tasting of everything.

On a previous visit I had possibly the best steak that I have ever had. It was the 300 gram Entrecote steak, from Golan Heights feedlot beef aged in the restaurant. It was cooked to perfection, perfectly medium from end to end and top to bottom no part was underdone or overdone. The outside was crispy and mildly flavored with seasonings. The cut had almost no fat to cut away. This was an experience that I will treasure. The Har Bracha Cabernet Sauvignon wine that the waiter chose set it off perfectly.

Etnika also offers fresh Sea Bream, Bass and Salmon. And vegetarian dishes like Eggplant Baladi, various Humus dishes,and other.

The restaurant is on street level with indoor and outdoor seating. There is street parking in the evenings and pay parking lots during the day.

From the menu: Falafel, 42; Moroccan cigars, 48; Israeli salad, 49; Lajmanjoun, 59; Etnika experience, 159; Aged Angus Entrecote steak, 56 shekels per 100 grams; Salmon fillet, 112; Coconut shushi dessert 49; Pistachio and halva ice cream, 48; Sorbet, three flavors, 43.

Click here for a 10% discount coupon on your next order at Etnika Restaurant. Print out this coupon and present it at the restaurant.