City Bites: Ravioli all around

Li Pasta serves up a a broad variety of Italian dishes and allows customers to mix and match to their hearts’ content

City Bites logo (photo credit:
City Bites logo
(photo credit:
When it comes to the freshness of the food he prepares, Chef Avi Shoshani of Jerusalem's Li Pasta restaurant is very exacting. "Every morning I go to the vegetable market and choose whatever catches my eye," he told iTravelJerusalem in a recent interview. "Actually, that's how our Portobello burger was born." But burgers weren't the only thing inspired by Shoshani's shopping trips.
Every day, the small restaurant puts out a range of specials – all according to what's in season and what gets Shoshani's creative juices flowing.
As a philosophy, Li Pasta's culinary flexibility also extends to the manner in which customers are allowed to assemble their dish. Although Jerusalem restaurants have yet to adopt any Cosmo-Kramer-style "make your own pizza" initiatives, everything at Li Pasta is made fresh, à la minute, and customers are given the option to mix and match between a wide range of pastas and sauces.
"If a customer wants to add mushrooms to his pesto cream sauce, that's fine with us," said Shoshani. "What's good for him is good for us." When asked which special dishes stood out on the menu, Shoshani noted the spaghetti with sautéed vegetables (see video), the cheese balls, which he said were "definitely [his] flagship dish" and the sweet potato latkes in sour cream and mint.
The restaurant also offers three kinds of lasagnas – tomato mozzarella, mushroom, and eggplant – and 14 types of ravioli ("the largest selection in the city," Shoshani said), including some unique fillings such as asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke and salmon. Ravioli is also the star of Lee Pasta's dessert menu, where savory fillings take a back seat to such treats as chocolate, halva and cherry.
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