Sushi for everyone: River opens 14th restaurant in Herzliya Pituah

I have no doubt that in time, River in Herzliya Pituah will be as popular as all the other branches in the chain.

River (photo credit: YAEL BONFIS/COURTESY OF WALLT ISRAEL)
River
(photo credit: YAEL BONFIS/COURTESY OF WALLT ISRAEL)
 Yaron Altit, the founder and owner of the River Asian restaurant chain, explains how he came by his surname, which in Hebrew means salmon: “My father made aliyah from Morocco in 1958 with his family, and the name Solomon [which sounds like ‘salmon’] was Hebraicized to Altit.”
“Salmon, which is ubiquitous in Israel today, was not available when we made aliyah in 1973,” Altit explains. “The only way to enjoy a rare salmon meal was to go abroad, which was also not that common in the early ‘70s.”
The Herzliya Pituah ‘River’ is the 14th in the chain to open. One balmy evening in April, we arrived at the restaurant, which is set in an English-style garden blooming with snapdragons and Michaelmas daisies in herbaceous borders. It is a lovely setting that manages to take one’s mind off the fact that this is actually the business heart of Herzliya Pituah.
There will eventually be five different Japanese draft beers available, Yaron tells us. As the place has been open for barely a month and the beers were not yet ready, we settled for a bottle of Recanati 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a dark fruity red that helped get us into a party mood.
We told Yaron to go ahead and choose the dishes, as we eat anything, and very soon a plate of spring rolls appeared.
The fish and vegetable innards are wrapped in rice paper, which bears an uncanny resemblance to wide elastic bands and tastes about the same. However, the filling of fresh and smoked salmon with vegetables was fine. (NIS 42).
Next up was “Papaya,” a fairly standard salad mix of lettuce, tomatoes, mint and red onion, with bean sprouts to make it slightly more Oriental. The dressing was faintly sweet, but mild, and enhanced the salad considerably.
Then there was the “River Salad,” another green-leaf salad livened up with chopped peanuts and deep-fried julienne sweet potatoes.
The chicken wings were rather different from the usual sweet and sticky variety. These were marinated for hours then dipped in tempura and deep fried. They came with a very mild curry sauce and provided a filling entrée. (NIS 39).
Yet another dish we tried were the cigars, crispy fingers of dough filled with a very tasty mush that we thought included meat but which was, in fact, purely vegetarian. This came in a yellow sauce made from corn. (NIS 38). 
Finally, Yaron brought us sushi, which was slightly crispy on the outer layer and filled with an assortment of salmon, sea bream and tiny chips of cucumber and sweet potato. The attractive sashimi was topped with generous amounts of smoked salmon and smoked red tuna.
Plans are afoot to open a delicatessen on the premises. I have no doubt that in time, River in Herzliya Pituah will be as popular as all the other branches in the chain.
Note that some of the new dishes mentioned are only available at the Herzliya Pituah branch
River
Kosher
Sapir St. 5, Herzliya Pituah. Phone 6969*
Sun-Thur: Noon-midnight; Fri: Noon-15.30; Sat: One hour after Shabbat-midnight.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.