HALLANDALE (CBSMiami) — It’s a taste of Israel at Jaffa, a charming eatery in Hallandale Beach created by Chef Yaniv Cohen.
He’s also known as The Spice Detective for his dedicated use of healthy, tasty, and often medicinal benefits of Middle Eastern spices. Jaffa is named after the oldest port city in Israel.
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“It’s an old city where Jews and Muslims and Christians live side-by-side, and it has art and galleries and food and beautiful beaches in a port. We wanted to establish that feeling here,” Cohen told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.
Inside is a colorful 45-seat dining room and bar area. The walls are lined with vintage Israeli travel posters. The dining tables are repurposed wood. Outside is a 20-seat dining lounge.
“You walk in and you can feel like if you’re in your own living room,” said Cohen. “Cozy, colorful, repurposed materials, repurposed wood. Everything here is sustainable and repurposed.”
Chef Cohen calls Jaffa an Israeli kitchen, as it is all Kosher-style, which includes a meat and dairy-free menu as well as a vast array of vegan dishes.
But like the people in Israel itself, chef Cohen says the menu is diverse.
“My mom’s family came to Israel from Iraq. My father’s family came from North Africa. People come to Israel from all over the world and everybody influences everybody,” he explained.
Back in the Kitchen, chef Cohen prepares a host of dishes for their tasting beginning with his motto and light-up sign that reads: “Home is where the Hummus is.”
It’s prepared with chickpea, tahini and garlic.
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“Every meal we have hummus. It’s like something that brings people together because we don’t eat with a fork, we eat it with a pita in our hands. We wipe the plate clean,” he said.
“This is one of the best hummus plates I’ve ever had. Really phenomenal,” said Petrillo.
Next, cedar grilled salmon with pistachio remoulade, mint, capers, olive oil, sumac and cilantro.
“So The spice detective delivered!”, exclaimed Petrillo. I really taste all the flavors and the fish is so fresh and lemony. The pop at the end is delicious.”
Next, they try the elegant and interesting deconstructed baba ghanoush, made with grilled eggplant tahini and roasted chickpeas.
Then, a wonderful dish chef Cohen calls The Jewish Pizza.
It’s smoked salmon with crispy capers, dill, truffle oil and lemon labneh made from fermented coconut cream.
“So, the Jewish pizza is the way to go!” said Petrillo. “It just has so much flavor and the elegance of the truffle oil with the fresh salmon is something. Wow, and I’m all over the bread,” said Petrillo.
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Jaffa is opened 5 days a week, serving dinner and brunch on Sundays. For more info: www.jaffamiami.com