Back in the States, we would be hard pressed to find a neighborhood bar, the kind of place where everyone knows your name, AND the food is kosher! Nuna, in the Rechavia section of Jerusalem at 30 Aza St, is that kind of a place. The crowd is eclectic to say the least. It is a bar that attracts the yarmulka crowd, the bare headed crowd, women in long skirts and women in tight pants.
Nuna is both bar and restaurant. The bar area is large enough to accommodate a sizable crowd. The beers are cold, the taps carry a nice selection. The one half liter beer glass is somewhat of a Paul Bunyan sized glass, but it offers total cold liquid refreshment. The glass of Hoegaarden beer delivered to our table was frosty cold and quite good.
We sat in the restaurant section. The son in law suggested that we order bar food. So we had chicken wings in an incredible sauce, schnitzelonim (mini schnitzel) with chips, a dish of sweet potato chips with maple syrup and eggplant baladi. In addition, we also had a tomato soup and the two mini (???) mini burgers (a rather complete meal in and of itself) which consisted of two nice sized burgers with all the fixings and a huge mountain of chips (fries). The burgers were seasoned with cumin which made for a nice, and slightly different, taste sensation.
The daughter said, “We are Americans, we like a lot of ketchup.” The owner, who knows them well, came by and plopped a whole bottle of ketchup on the table. We were pretty amazed. After ice cubes, the second most rare item in restaurants here is a bottle of ketchup (and not those little fast food plastic packets that you have to rip open).
While we ate, all the TV’s in the place were tuned to a very exciting basketball game. Mixed in with the eating and drinking, there were cheers and shouts. The place has a party feel to it, and we had a blast there.
Service is excellent. The wait staff is efficient and caring. A constant supply of napkins was forthcoming for all the finger food we ate, and the water was cold and minted.
The kids tell the old guy that they go to Nuna often and that they really like the place. By the way, it is one of the few places in Jerusalem where you really do not hear much English, or French either, for that matter. The kids said, “Dad, you gotta write about this place.” And then they were quiet and one of them said, “Well, maybe not- if too many others come, the bar will change.”
The so called bar food that we had was quite good. This is not haute cuisine. But it is comfort food at its Middle Eastern best!