Moroccan Jews, who began arriving to Israel in massive numbers in the 1950s, are an integral component of the mix of various cultures that are still today forming the Israeli national identity – Israelis, whether Ethiopian or German or Indian, have absorbed elements of Moroccan culture from couscous to henna into their own cultures. And Moroccan restaurants are just as well-represented in Jerusalem as Moroccan Jews.
Occupying the upper tier of Moroccan restaurants is El Marrakesh, located in the city's ritziest hotel district on King David Street. Done up in arch-heavy and geometrically patterned traditional Moroccan décor, El Marrakesh specializes in the cuisine Israelis (and Americans) have come to expect from Moroccan restaurants: couscous, lamb, meat-filled cigars, potato-filled pastilles, grape leaves, a huge selection of salads for dipping and more. Your meal starts with complimentary glasses of arak and ends with sweet Moroccan mint tea and cookies.
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