Just south of Shaftsbury Avenue, on the less flamboyant end of Rupert Street is The Palomar, a "modern Jerusalem kitchen". The place is banging from the word go, but what do you expect from Layo (Layo and Bushwacka / The End), with loud music, hustling and bustling, neon lights, chefs working hard and having fun… you’ll feel like you’ve just found the party, and you’ll want in.
Yeah, you can book, but us BarChicks say rock up and wait in line (cocktails in hand) for a front-row seat at the zinc bar. Time will fly by and it’s a good place to people / food watch. The interior is a refreshing change from Soho’s usual exposed brickwork and battered industrial styles; here you get proper napkins, proper drinking vessels and there’s not a Falcon plate in sight. Instead what you do have is a super slick interior with a touch of Art Deco for good measure, lots of dark oak panelling, inviting deep blue leather banquettes and most importantly great service.
The barman knows what he’s doing, and he’s got an awesome back bar. We say kick off with a round of cocktails (BarChick started strong with the gin based Drunken Botanist), but really you are here for the food. Sharing is caring here, so order a few mezze plates to share between two and exercise your palette with a variety of flavours and textures: Moroccan oysters, deconstructed kibbeh, Jerusalem style polenta (YES), pork belly tajine, Israeli couscous – it’s all good and yes you do need to order everything, no question.