Hametz-free zones in Tel Aviv

When Pessah hits the Jewish state's main urban center, there are changes, but something remains; Layla dance bar will keep you nicely toasted, even minus the toast.

booze (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
When Pessah hits the Jewish state's main urban center, there are changes, but something remains - especially for those secular Jews who don't observe the dietary laws 51 weeks of the year but live leaven-free for the holiday. On the night of the Seder, Layla dance bar (Rehov Ben Yehuda 77) promises to do it up right with a full line of drinks that will keep you nicely toasted, even minus the toast. Opening its doors at 11:30 p.m., the bar will be stocked with quality kosher Israeli wines priced at NIS 22 per glass. For those looking for something more exciting, a selection of wine-based cocktails will also be offered for NIS 38, as well as sangria. Entrance is free and the night's soundtrack is totally 80s. Stop by Temptation Bar (Rehov Allenby 35), which has two lines based on "the four sons." One line is wine-based for the most part, and the second is a selection of chasers. The wise son takes liquid form as a glass of orange juice, sour mix and cabernet sauvignon, and also as spicy and sweet liquor. The wicked son can be ordered either as spicy vodka with sparkling red Lambrusco or a chaser of spicy liquor. The simple son is a glass of soda water, sour mix and Riesling, or simply a vodka chaser. And the son who does not know to ask becomes either a glass of straight Riesling or a Becharovka chaser. Both lines run for the whole holiday, and doors open at 10 pm. If it's food you're after, fear not, there are options aplenty. The more traditional diners might want to check out Toros (Rehov Bogroshav 49 (03)525-6455) a certified kosher meat restaurant that will be open during Hol Hamoed. The grilled meats, fish and salads are already Pessah-friendly, which means the most notable change is just matza. Reservations are recommended. Just down the street from Toro's is Caballero's (Rehov Bogroshav 39, (03) 620-4466). This decidedly unkosher restaurant, which will open during Hol Hamoed, will base its Mexican menu on a wheat-flour-free corn tortilla. Beer remains on tap and the bar stands unaltered. As for the menu, shredded beef with cheese is still an option. Caballero's opens from noon to midnight, and closes at 4 p.m. on the holiday itself. Some establishments will still be catering to the hametz addicts out there, however. Little Prague (Rehov Allenby 56), for example, will operate throughout the holiday with nary a change to its extensive menus. Opening its doors regularly at 1 p.m. and open to accommodate every evening's last customer, Little Prague is where you will find tasty European fare with great Czech beer on tap. The pizza guy in Diezengoff Center, located just past the mall's Tchernikofsky Street entrance, will continue to make one of the best slices in Tel Aviv. The only slice available is plain, and it's NIS 7. For just NIS 3 more you get a cup of lemonade, too.