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Hip Asian kitchen in Jerusalem

SC 08/09/2021 4

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I visited Jacko’s Son with my cocktail-loving son just before corona hit and we had an amazing time. We ate and drank a little too much, and I wrote then that I raised the average age in the place by several decades.
I was hesitant to visit again, fearing that it would not be as much fun as we remembered, but I was wrong. The vibe was different, less Tel Aviv hipster and more Jerusalem varied population, but the food is still really good and the cocktails amazing. There was even a family with two young kids sitting at the bar.
The bartenders, both men and women, all seemed to be having a great time and seem to really care that their customers did as well. Entrance to Jacko’s Son is through a giant refrigerator from Jacko’s Street next door, like a speakeasy. The space is unique – a stone-arched long, narrow space with a bar seating about 30 and a few sofas in the back. There are neon lights and the music, which included American pop from the 1980s as well as modern Israeli music.

“I’ve been to lots of bars,” my son Netanel, who is 20, said, in a conversation opener that might not thrill every Jewish mother. “What’s nice about this one is that the music is not so loud that you can’t have a conversation.”
At this point, bartender Yael Avichail, complete with a nose ring and a big smile, came around the bar to ask us our preferences for cocktails. Just 20, and currently in the army, she was professional and mixed our drinks with a real flair. She said she learned on the job, rather than taking a professional course.  Most cocktails were NIS 54.

 Jacko's son (credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO) Jacko’s son (credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)

A few minutes later a drink arrived that had an actual small pinecone and edible flowers in it. It had pineapple and Passiflora and pine nut (tsnobar) syrup and was wonderful. My son received a whiskey and cinnamon drink that he also really enjoyed.
The food was also a surprise. The first dish was a Middle Eastern-inspired sashimi, called sashimi Beit Safafa (NIS 66) which sounds strange but was intriguing. It was a white fish in a sauce with zaatar, okra and small slices of the traditional Arab sesame seed oblong bagel. There was a dish of asado on bruschetta with a basil aioli (NIS 68) which we both enjoyed, and then came the sushi.
My biggest complaint about sushi in Israel is that some places skimp on the fish, which is of course the most expensive ingredient. Here the sushi had plenty of fish. We enjoyed the Taekwondo with red tuna and shitaki mushrooms (NIS 64), and the double salmon roll (NIS 62) with cooked salmon on top and raw salmon inside. The only roll I did not enjoy was the sea bream on coals (NIS 60), which had cooked fish and a somewhat chalky taste.
But by that point, after a second cocktail (a pear-syrup based drink for me and a beet margarita with a salt rim for my son) and a chaser of something that Yael poured us, I didn’t really care much. Netanel ordered some kind of fruit-based dessert that he didn’t stop raving about, and I just sat quietly, enjoying being part of a crowd just having a good time, even in the shadow of the pandemic.
(And don’t worry, I took the bus home).
Jacko’s Son
74 Agrippas St.
(02) 581-7178 (Reservations essential)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday (an hour after Shabbat) to 2 a.m.
Kashrut: Rabbanut Jerusalem
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.


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Co-Host for Coffee Mouth Scarecrow Show. Retired NAVY Chief/Flag Writer Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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