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It's pronounced "ee-mah," means "mom," and is named for Miriam, the owner's Kurdish-Jewish mother, who still cooks some of the excellent traditional Middle Eastern food. In the Nachla'ot neighborhood, walking distance from Machaneh Yehuda, the restaurant has a more diverse clientele than the fast-food places up the street. The floor plan of the century-old stone house, with its arched doorways and niched windows (what locals call "very Jerusalemite"), create different-size dining areas that create a feeling of intimacy. First courses include a modest but quality meze of some half-dozen salads, such as hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as the wonderful kibbeh (seasoned ground meat deep fried in a jacket of bulgur wheat) and stuffed grape leaves. The selection of stuffed vegetables is an excellent choice if you're sharing. Try one of the tangy kibbeh soups, full of dumplings—it's almost a meal in itself. Entrées, like shashlik, chicken or a Jerusalem mixed grill, are often accompanied by majadra (rice and lentils).
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