The welcoming atmosphere at this delicious restaurant dates back to 2008. Founded by Izzat Freitekh, La Shish Kabob is a restaurant serving kabobs made from fresh meat. We had a wonderful experience with Mr. Freitekh, who provided us with wonderful explanations and recommendations from the extensive menu. Mr. Freitekh’s authentic Middle Eastern recipes have a long history. The signature shawarma at La Shish Kabob is served with a side of rice and is quite mouthwatering. The sauce that comes with the shawarma is very delicious.
There are many other dishes available besides shawarma. Chicken Cornish hen, lamb shanks, mixed grill (which includes three skewers: lamb, beef kefta and chicken). In addition to the rice and salad, each order includes grilled vegetables, rice, and pita bread. I promise you, there’s an abundance of delicious food here.
The most important ingredients served at La Shish Kabob are warmth and welcome. Upon entering, customers are greeted by a gong doorbell and a boisterous welcome. If you come hungry, be forewarned: the place smells delicious, but it can be difficult discerning exactly which dish is tickling your olfactories. A glass case displays beef kabobs, lamb kabobs, and whole rotisserie chickens covered in our secret herb mix dripping juice before your eyes.
The food is all freshly prepared. Everything from the falafel, hummus, to baba ganoush, to the wonderfully garlicky red and green hot sauce was excellent. Although the food is spicy, it is not excessively so, except for a few items. As an example, the ‘Adanna Kebob’ dish is served with succulent lamb covered in a mix of flavorful ingredients that will indeed make you sweat a little. An important element of the dish is its origin. The dish derives its name from a province of Turkey. The Adanna dish that I received was patted by hand into patties and carefully shaped onto a long flat skewer. In addition to the Adanna dish, there were flatbread, rice, and salad on the table. Instead of ground meat, kebabs made with chopped meat have a much better texture and taste. I enjoyed these, they were tender, and they had a bit of heat from the chile flakes in them.
As a dessert, I had some fresh homemade baklava. The overall experience of eating La Shish Kabob is more similar to eating at someone’s home than it is like eating at a neighborhood restaurant.
La Shish Kabob is owned by Izzat Freitekh, a native of Jerusalem. This is his 35th year in the restaurant business, and he is very passionate about his business. I think we can safely say that his reputation comes all the way back to the good old days in Jerusalem’s ancient streets. He was the first to start a chain of fast food restaurants in the Old City of Jerusalem. In addition to those references, Mr. Freitekh is also remembered by a street named after him here in Jerusalem between the American Colony Hotel and the Orient House.
In 1983, he started his first restaurant in his father’s movie theater (Al Nuzha) and that is where he opened his first restaurant. Al Nuzha was the first movie theater built in Jerusalem.