Brasserie M&R is so trendy ('how trendy is it?!') -- It's so trendy that it doesn't have a sign outside. And I probably never would have set foot in it, except that we're old friends with chef Gidon Horton.
Openers: a salad with boutique lettuces and fat shavings of parmesan, and excellent home made crostini to sample with two spreads, a little Middle East (babaghanoush) and Eastern Europe (chopped liver). The babaghanoush: they just do it better out here. Smooth, smoky... I think it's the tahini paste, and fresh local lemons. Mediterrannean air. Something. The chopped liver: chicken livers, egg, carmelized onion, salt and pepper, not much else. Also smooth, just like in the old country. Neither lasted long.
Walking on the wild side -- for Israel, anyway -- I ordered moules frites and fried calamari. The Calamaretti Fritti: spiced breadcrumb coating, perfectly cooked--al dente like pasta -- over a salad like tabouleh, except pearl pasta instead of crushed wheat. I have to take exception with the moules frites, though, because they don't actually come with frites. The waitress, when gently pressed on the issue, said 'well, they would be good with frites'. Of course they would.
Dessert, well, dessert was hand picked strawberries -- probably from the fields between Tel Aviv and our house-- whipped cream, and some sort of 'Death by Chocolate' cake. With chocolate sauce. And espresso. This is trendy with backbone: good location, good eats, good service. They don't need the sign.
Extensive cooking and travel in Europe, the Mid East, and the Far East changed my palate and concepts of pairings and presentation. Good cooking friends and a background in Biology and Chemistry give me a pretty good idea of how to hit a target preparation. I love cooking on the fly, whether to make a complex set piece or a minor culinary miracle out of what's on hand.