Atza Sushi Bar is an excellent sushi and Asian food restaurant located in the Romema neighborhood in Jerusalem. The food is superb and the restaurant is kosher mehadrin under the top-notch supervision of Rabbi Rubin. This last point is very important as you’ll see further on.
Atza offers a very large variety of sushi and lots of stir-fry and other Asian dishes as well, and I was impressed by the quality and taste of the dishes and the attention given to the visual presentation of the dishes.
Atza is located, along with several other restaurants and businesses, in a small, covered outdoor mall built on the groundfloor of a new building complex in Romema.
If you’re arriving by foot, access to Atza is from Yirmiyahu Street, but there is a large, new underground car park right underneath the building complex (which when I last checked was still free). You cannot get to the underground parking from Yirmiyahu street. You need to drive first to Malchei Yisrael street (which is parallel to Yirmiyahu street) and then turn onto Brandeis Street. The parking garage is at the end of the block on the left (before the traffic light).
The atmosphere and decor at Atza is extremely simple, and I think they deliberately did not invest much money in designing the place. The restaurant owners realized that what would draw people, particularly those interested in mehadrin sushi, is quality food at a reasonable price.
The seating area inside the restaurant is not spacious, but it’s much roomier at the tables outside. The outdoor seating area is covered, so you won’t get broiled in direct sunlight in the summer or rained on in the winter. The restaurant turns on outdoor gas heaters in the cold winter months.
The sushi makings, ie the fish and the veggies, look fresh and of high quality. You can see them in the windowed refrigerator at the ordering counter. Behind the counter you can watch the sushi chefs busily rolling out all sorts of sushi delicacies.
Atza has a menu in the old format, ie printed on paper, but they also have a digital menu on tablets with pictures of the dishes in full color. It is very convenient to browse the electronic menu.
The vegetarian and spicy dishes are marked on the menu so that you can find what you like and avoid stuff that you don’t.
Among the appetizers you will find chicken nuggets, vegetable egg rolls, spicy chicken wings, stir-fried broccoli and more.
For the main course, your main problem will be that there so many types of sushi and other Asian dishes that it’s hard to choose. They try to help you out by having a section in their sushi offerings called “the recommended ones” (המומלצים). They include all kinds of inside-out rolls (with the rice outside) with different combinations of fish and vegetables inside. The rolls are wrapped with a variety thinly sliced goodies like avocado, teriyaki, sweet potato in tempura, and panko, to name just a few.
For people that want to order a joint dish and let their taste buds experience a bunch of types of sushi, there are sushi combination platters, including vegetarian and vegan combinations, combinations with sushi sandwiches and more.
Last but not least, I want to mention why Atza is presently very unique from a kosher perspective. About a year ago I attended a class given by Rabbi Moshe Katz, the head of the Kosharot organization, about the kosher issues that one must be aware of regarding fish. The rabbi mentioned that there was a serious problem that was discovered regarding the nori or seaweed paper eaten with most sushi. It was found that all of the nori was found to have insects in it, and that made it non-kosher.
Since that class, I did not partake of sushi with nori until I found out that Rabbi Rubin flew to China, investigated several nori factories and was able to arrange for a factory to produce nori without the problem of insects.
At the time of writing this post, I don’t know of any other restaurants using this kosher nori. If you know of others, please let me know using the contact form on the website.
During my visits to Atza, I found the waitresses to be quick and courteous, and when the restaurant was not mobbed during peak hours, the food arrived fairly quickly. According to Google, the busiest times at Atza are Sunday and Monday from 20:00 to 21:00.
I highly recommend Atza for the excellent food and service and the top of the line kosher mehadrin supervision.
Restaurant name: Atza Sushi Bar
Address: 9 Yirmiyahu St., Romema, Jerusalem
Opening hours: Sun-Thu from 12:00-23:00 | Fri 6:00-13:00 | Motzei Shabbat 20:30-23:30
Kashrut: Rabbi Rubin
It is highly recommended to request to see the kashrut certificate to verify that it is still valid.