Today Teddy and I spent a solemn afternoon at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem. The experience is devastating — and essential. Even having been there before, I will need time to process the visit enough to write a description that might begin to do it justice. I’m thankful that the place exists; that it was built and curated so well; and that I got to bring Teddy, as my mother brought me 28 years ago.
Transitioning from such a sad, meaningful experience to lunch at a place called Happy Fish feels off, but there it is. Before Yad Vashem, Teddy and I drove with our friends Lisa and Eric from Ein Gedi to Jerusalem, where Teddy and I checked into the Mamilla Hotel and had lunch at the hotel’s seafood restaurant. The menu is built around a list of fresh fish that can be prepared grilled, baked or fried (certain fish lend themselves to certain preparations; you can’t get every one each way).
I ordered grilled sea bass, which came cooked to moist perfection, though it wore an expression of extreme irritation. So funny, given the restaurant’s name. The fish was preceded by a selection of delicious meze — a cabbage salad, a “warm hummus,” some roasted vegetables, tzaziki, tabouli and a raw tomato dip. Teddy and I sat outside in the shade and prepared for what promised to be the most intense, educational and interesting leg of a spectacular trip.
Yesterday I promised a description of Machneyuda restaurant, the terrific place in Mahane Yehuda market where we’re dining tonight. Our reservation is for late, so I’ll fill you in tomorrow.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner