NJ Dining: Walla! (CLOSED!)


Note: Walla is currently closed and appears to be undergoing a change in ownership. 

Walla!
10 Jay Street, Tenafly NJ 07670

I was recently made aware of a new Kosher restaurant in Tenafly, which opened about three months ago on Jay Street, in the short alley across from the Honda dealership on County Road.

Walla! Differs from most Kosher places in the area in that

  • It’s in Tenafly and thus the standards are a bit higher and
  • The food is actually quite good.

In fact, I would say that their Middle Eastern offerings rival Bennies in Englewood in terms of quality, which is saying a great deal. The restaurant is owned by a young Israeli couple and features Kosher Meat items. The restaurant is certified by the RCBC and there is a Kosher supervisor there during all business hours (although he basically just sits there and reads the newspaper, apparently.)

In any case, the quality of the meat here is excellent and they know how to cook it properly. They have some unusual items here that you wouldn’t expect to find in a regular Felafel/Shwarma place, and everything here has a Yemenite spin on it, because one of the owners, Rosie, is a Yemenite Jew. She is incredibly passionate about food and is very much quality oriented. Plus, she’s extremely cute.

Storefront on Jay Street in Tenafly

Lunch Menu

Israeli Mango Nectar

Interior decorations

The Mise-En-Place area for the Sandwiches

Sandwich bar, close up

Condiments — Pickles for the Falafel, Tahina, and Amba, a very
strongly flavored mango pickle paste, which originates from Iraq.

Toasted Laffa Bread with Herbs and Olive Oil. Really good.

A creamy Israeli-style Babaghanoush.

Zhoug, a spicy dip/condiment.

Carrot Salad and roasted Pepper salad.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Falafel Sandwich

This is Malawach, a type of Yemenite griddle bread with scrambled eggs and tomato. Amazing and delicious, Rachel was talking about this for days.

The “Sabich” (Sah-Bikh) sandwich, which is a favorite of Iraqi Jews. It is composed of hummus, tahina, tomato cucumber salad, hardboiled eggs, onions and eggplant salad. Its meant to be eaten with the Amba pickle pictured above.

Shwarma, served on Yemeni Laffa Bread. Laffa is similar to Pita, but flatter and more wrap-like.

Shwarma, opened up. The sandwich is utterly huge and could feed two people if you ordered appetizers. It’s made from turkey meat that has been heavily seasoned with Sabah Baharat, a middle eastern spice blend that includes cinnamon.

Shwarma closeup.

Baby Chicken with Couscous plate.

French Fries, made of fresh cut potatoes

Turkish Coffee

7 Responses to NJ Dining: Walla! (CLOSED!)

  1. harry says:

    Looks impressive for Israeli food outside of Israel. I’m surprised thought that they use eggplant salad rather than fried eggplant for the sabich. I think the fried eggplant is integral to both the taste and the texture of the sandwich. The sabich has become quite the “in” sandwich these past few years.

  2. Yeah, the fried eggplant is the standard issue as far as I understand as well. This was the first Sabich I have ever eaten, so I haven’t had any other frame of reference. I’m looking forward to trying some of the ones in Manhattan, like the ones at Nargilla and Taim.

  3. harry says:

    Or how about trying one in Israel next time you come! First one is on me! :)

  4. […] Because of this, we also don’t have a lot of take out. We got a few pizza places, a Kosher deli, two Chinese take-outs, a small take-out sushi joint, two bagel places, an ice cream/gelato place, the Tenafly Classic Diner, a cute Glatt Kosher Israeli joint and that’s about it. And oh yeah, a new deli just opened up where you can get paninis, but only one of the Pizza places and the Chinese actually deliver. If you want anything more interesting, you need leave the house and go to the neighboring towns like Englewood or Bergenfield. […]

  5. […] I was heartbroken to find out that my favorite local Israeli restaurant, Walla! in Tenafly, had closed after only a few months in business. While we do have other great […]

  6. Joseph Gold says:

    They closed: food was good. reason they closed: poor service, poor service, and dirty. I once ate there and throughout my entire meal the leftover used plates of someone who ate and had already left was sitting behind me at another table. “israeli” attitude– best advice I can give is this: get a really good Israeli cook/chief and keep them in the kitchen away from the customers. Get polite, well dressed restaurant professionals to run the place and that combination will succeed.

  7. Joseph Gold says:

    Little Tel Aviv: replaced this place– same location, double the size, decent food.
    Their problem: totally overpriced, ZERO restaurant sense. Sorry to say this but again, israeli attitude with Ok food = going out of business. Sat there 20 minutes trying to find someone to fill my water glass. Orders too forever, were not timed well. staff was not attentive at all.
    Would have succeeded were it not for the staff and 15% overpriced food.

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