NEW YORK - After Kabbalah, New York is embracing a new Jewish trend: Kosher food. In recent months the kosher restaurant Prime Grill, with its Hollywood and Manhattan branches, has become the restaurant of choice for top celebrities who want to dine on gourmet kosher food.
Stars and producers, Jews and non-Jews alike, charge the restaurant, eating a glatt-kosher dinner and dancing to Israeli music after dinner.
The trend began in the intersection of Kabbalah and health. Several cases of food poisoning in the US in recent months caused growing numbers of people to look for healthier, cleaner options. Kosher food emerged as that option, as it is seen as safer and cleaner because of the tight inspection on preparation.
The realization that kosher food is healthier corresponded with the Kabbalah studies of many celebrities, and their subsequent decision to adopt Jewish customs. The only thing stopping Hollywood starts from fulfilling their craving for kosher food was a kosher gourmet restaurant nearby. This is where Prime Grill comes in.
From Madonna to Donald Trump
Four months ago the chain’s second branch opened in upscale Beverly Hills, and became a recreational center for the stars. As expected, the first one to mark the restaurant was Esther-Madonna. She discovered the original New York restaurant seven years ago, Joey Allaham (31), the owner of the restaurant chain, tells Yedioth Ahronoth.
“She dines at one of the restaurants every time she visits the United States. Madonna likes dining late at night. She often has a romantic dinner with her husband, Guy Ritchie, and we keep the kitchen open especially for her.”
Madonna does not come only for romantic dinners. The two restaurants play Israeli music and Madonna, it turns out, has a hard time containing her enthusiasm. She dances when she hears Sarit Hadad songs, says Allaham. Sacha Baron Cohen ('Borat') is also a regular customer, who dances to Kobi Peretz and Eyal Golan, and says the food and music remind him of Tel Aviv.
The list of celebrity customers is very long. Last week Paris Hilton celebrated her 26th birthday at Prime Grill Beverly hills. Comedian Baron Cohen celebrated his Oscar nomination there, and Donald Trump is also considered a fan of the restaurant, frequently dining in both the New York and Beverly Hills restaurants. Another regular is U2 frontman Bono, who likes the sushi imported from Japan.
According to Allaham, the kosher Beverly Hills restaurant attracts Jewish directors and producers in Hollywood who were unable to enjoy gourmet kosher food before.
Steven Spielberg is a frequent diner who brings many guests there. In the past, he could not have eaten at a kosher restaurant even if he wanted to, because most kosher restaurants in the area serve falafel or shawarma.
So what do the stars like to eat? Madonna likes basmati rice and lamb chops. Sacha Baron Cohen eats plenty of meat, mostly ribs and steak, because he does not eat non-kosher meat, and so every visit to the restaurant is a celebration, according to Allaham.
Paris Hilton and Bono are in love with the sushi. Donald Trump’s favorite dish is miso-sake salmon.