Sandwiches extraordinaire

After learning to cook at several restaurants and finishing a year-long culinary course at Hadassah College Lior Peretz has opened his own sandwich bar.

Lior Peretz_311 (photo credit: Barry A. Kaplan)
Lior Peretz_311
(photo credit: Barry A. Kaplan)
In the Passover Haggada, we read: “This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come share our Passover.” The word for bread is lahma, an Arabic word meaning meat and an Aramaic word meaning bread. So when Shay Cohen, Eran Peretz and Lior Peretz decided to open a sandwich restaurant, they chose the name Lachma, standing for bread and meat.
■ How it started
Lior Peretz is a charming, soft-spoken man who grew up in Jerusalem in a home where his Moroccan-born mother made delicious food from Morocco and he liked to cook as a child. After the army, in 2003, he chanced to take a job at the Olive restaurant where he learned how to cook.
■ Experience
Peretz moved on to some other restaurants and then to Chakra, which was owned by his brother Eran, and which Frommer’s guide and The New York Times describe as an “upper moderate-priced” restaurant that offers “some of the most inventive and sophisticated meals in Israel.”
In 2007, Peretz took the year-long culinary course at Hadassah College Jerusalem and then spent a few years working in different restaurants, “so I could learn more.”
Last June he returned to Chakra, and in August he and his brother and Shay Cohen, owner of Naadi, the dairy restaurant on the corner of Shatz and Bezalel streets since 2008, opened Lachma.
■ Decor
The L-shaped restaurant seats 22 inside and 21 outside. A bar-like divider reveals the open kitchen with a smaller kitchen behind the black tile wall. Windows across the front look out onto Shatz Street. The menu in Hebrew is across the side wall on a blackboard. Wood-grained tables and black chairs add to the simplicity of the restaurant.
■ Cuisine
The primary focus of Lachma is the eight sandwich offerings with salad, priced from NIS 32 to NIS 48. There are also four salads that come with bread; three entrees (meatballs, hunters’ stew and schnitzel) served with rice or fries and salad (NIS 32 to NIS 44); a soup of the day; a chef’s special; soft drinks, beers and wine; and on Friday, the Moroccan fish dish hreimeh, served with halla.
All sandwiches are served on home-made regular or whole wheat 30-centimeter-long baguettes, which Peretz bakes four times a day.
Most popular dish on the menu
“Corned beef sandwich.”
Favorite item on the menu
“Meatball sandwich with a lot of spices.”
Biggest accomplishment
“Opening this place.”
Best part of the job
“That I do business and pleasure. I like to cook and I make money from it!”
Who cooks at home?
“I don’t cook. I don’t like to do dishes after. I go to a lot of restaurants all the time.”
Lachma is located at 8 Shatz Street, tel. 650-8200 ,and is kosher certified by the rabbinate. Lachma is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. until one hour before Shabbat on Friday; and one hour after Shabbat ends until 11 p.m. on Saturday night.