NYCReview

photo credit: Ariel Efron

Malka image
6.9

Malka

IsraeliJewish

Upper West Side

$$$$Perfect For:Corporate CardsKosherBig Groups

Located in the old North Miznon space on the Upper West Side, Malka is from the same chef behind Port Sa’id and Miznon. The restaurant is his first fully kosher spot in the US, which is reflected both in the menu and the opening hours (they're closed Friday nights to observe Shabbat). Early in the evening, you’ll see neighborhood locals quietly enjoying a glass of wine and a focaccia and hummus, which you have to order separately. But around 6:30pm, the Klezmer rock and R&B playlist dials up to 11, and an order of the whole lubina roasted with onions and tomatoes will come out of the open kitchen engulfed in flames.

The dishes are eye-catching: besides the flaming fish, there are showy vegetable dishes, like slices of beetroot with big flakes of salt laid out like smoked fish on gilded cardboard. And the schnitzel (stuffed with bone-marrow mashed potatoes) comes on a giant chopping board with too much cole slaw and not enough horseradish. But the presentation and quirky menu names—“a dear memory of jericho potato” or “spinach melting into himself”—are the most exciting things about the food, which feels like a bland, underseasoned, and uninspired rehash of the group’s other restaurants. If you’re just looking for a kosher restaurant that brings the party though, Malka will do, thanks to its bright lights and plenty of big tables for groups.

Malka image

photo credit: Ariel Efron

Suggested Reading

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8.4

Port Sa'id

Housed in a loft-like space in Hudson Square, Port Sa’id is a lively spot where you can eat some hummus and listen to vinyl.

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Miznon is a popular Israeli restaurant with an NYC location in Chelsea Market.

Gray's Papaya image
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