Meet Our Chefs: A La Rampaby Anna Kopito | 02.10.14
Telavivian: Who are you?
Omri Barel: I cofounded A La Rampa [a restaurant located on 21 Ha’amal Street, Tel Aviv] with my friend David. David is really the mastermind behind the menu – together we wanted to make a new hub in Tel Aviv. We searched for a long time for the location for the restaurant and when we found our place we decided that we could make it work here, we wanted to drag the social scene further south, to start a new food frontier for the city. The area is full of galleries and creative types and we wanted to turn it into a new centre. We like that it’s a little rough, we only wish it wasn’t quite so hidden, we want it to be a place that tourists and locals can enjoy the area of the city.
Tell us three things we need to know about A La Rampa –
Well, we’re open at noon for lunch – a lot of people don’t know that.
David and I have known each other for fifteen years, since our military service.
Our little secret is that after constructing A La Rampa by hand, we hid our hammers in the restaurant – one is the weight that closes the bathroom door and the other is buried in the concrete at the front of the building.
What is your favourite dish?
The one dish that survived from day one is called The bugs bunny in a murder scene salad; it’s a vegan dish made of carrot peelings, greens and a beetroot vinaigrette. It’s a really refreshing salad and people are always drawn to the name – which when you see it, it’s pretty accurate. I guess we tried to use any excuse we had to be creative when we started – to look at anything as a platform for creativity – and it’s a lot of fun.
What can we expect from you at Telavivian’s Pop Up Shop for Israeli Design?
Well, it’ll be a surprise! I never really know what David is going to come up with – he has a golden touch and whatever it is, it will be amazing. He’ll have some inspiration coming up to the event and he will do something creative that will surprise me, it will be inspired by the moment.
What do you hope for Tel Aviv’s culinary future?
I think that Tel Aviv – or Israel in general – has one of the most wonderful culinary cultures in the world. In terms of food, this place is a melting pot for everything that goes on: there are big places, small places, ancient grandmother’s recipes served up in tiny cafes next door to New York style chic bars. When I go anywhere else in the world I miss the food here. I just want to see the diversity continue to evolve, to see Israeli food recognised for being more than just Jewish food – it’s really exciting.
We just want to say thank you to our customers, the surprises they bring and thank you to our area – because our emphasis is on encouraging the growth of the neighbourhood and what is happening here culture-wise.
Food from our resident chefs from A La Rampa will be available during the two-day long Pop Up Shop. RSVP here.
Text by Francesca Kletz