It occurred to me while sitting in Little Jerusalem the other night that I hadn’t ever written about it. Subconsciously I must have wanted to keep it all to myself. By no means is this tiny Palestinian restaurant an unknown, though, so I don’t know why my subconscious was thinking I could “keep it to myself.” The secret is out and has been for some time. So I might as well add to the parade of joyful fandom.
Once you finally locate Little Jerusalem down a dodgy lane off Upper Rathmines Rd, the adventure begins. The restaurant is tiny and cramped, has mis-matched tables and chairs, loud music, a visible cooking station, and is always busy. The atmosphere is decidedly un-Irish and that is all part of its charm: it’s a mini-holiday right in Dublin 6.
The staff are charming and helpful and quick. The food is fresh and delicious. I am partial to the babaganoosh and the Vegetarian Mezze. However, I have twice had the Makloubet–a chicken dish–and while eating it the other night I said “why doesn’t chicken always taste like this?!” No one in our group of eight was disappointed by their order. We all wished we had bigger stomachs.
Little Jerusalem is BYOB. The do charge a corkage (kind of. Once you open more than two bottles, they don’t really charge), but it’s minimal. This means you can not only enjoy your exact favorite wine or beer, but that everyone manages to get out for about 20 euro. That included (for us) shared starters and shared plates of baklava for dessert. The fact that I even considered sharing a plate of baklava means I am evolving as a human being.
We left one bottle of wine in the restaurant. They refrigerate beer and white wine, which is a classy touch for a BYO joint, but if you don’t drink everything, you have to remember to take it away with you. We didn’t remember the poor bottle of white wine. I am obviously frustrated with myself (it was a nice bottle), but of course I want to blame someone else: the BF, the lovely folks at Little Jerusalem, my therapist . . . Anyway. I can of course go back and see if it is still there, but I expect it went to the table of 14 who were enjoying someone’s birthday. Ah well. Pay it forward. I guess the universe owes me a bottle of something nice soon?
Regardless of my forgetful wine situation, Little Jerusalem remains one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants.