It always happens when you least expect it.
You’re on your sofa at home, about to settle into a few episodes of Peep Show and a bottle of cheap wine from Portugal. Then your friend calls, and demands you come along to a party that his boss is throwing that sounds 100% awful. But you agree, because he gave you a lift to Glastonbury last year and you feel like you owe him.
The next thing you know, you’re walking back into your flat at 7:30am, having had an unexpectedly epic evening.
That’s what happens every time you go to the Palomar.
This small restaurant in Soho has a certain energy that you’ll feel the moment you walk in the room. Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s the bar seating. Maybe it’s the lighting. Maybe it’s your server reaching over to make notes on your menu, just to be sure you don’t miss the good stuff. And maybe it’s the fact that he’s also drinking.
Palomar is a great restaurant throughout, but the almost all of this fun happens at the bar. If you don’t manage to get a booking for the first seating at the bar then we suggest you put your name down and head to a pub near by while you wait for a seat, rather than sit at a table in the back of the restaurant. Those are nice for someone who needs a little bit control in their lives, as they can be booked in advance. But the whole idea of a night at Palomar is giving up control and meticulous planning and giving in to where the night may take you.
The menu here is made up of Israeli-inspired share plates, which can mean anything from beetroot carpaccio to ‘octo-hummus’ (octopus and hummus) to a truly excellent Jerusalem mix featuring a bunch of offal in delicious spices. You’ll want all of those, plus the kubaneh bread. But don’t worry about remembering all that - the bartenders will have you covered, as does our Food Rundown below. You just worry about getting a few drinks in you. That’s the best way to settle into a party - whether or not you planned to end up at one.
All meals should begin with a round loaf of bread. Rip off a chunk and dip in the tahini and tomato sauce that come alongside it.
This comes with ‘burnt goat cheese’ and ‘hazelnut brittle’ and even people who ‘don’t like beetroot’ will devour this.
This is a mix of offal on a plate, and you should get over your qualms and order it. You will like it.
Great name, great dish. It’s octopus and hummus, and also the name of a sea monster in our forthcoming comic book series
A delicious copper pan filled with minced beef and lamb, yogurt, and all the tahini you could ever want.
The desserts here are not to be missed - this one involves rose-scented milk pudding and coconut meringue pistachio crunch, and is awesome.