Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Neto-Burrito: Oy Bay Reviews the New Israeli Cafe in Mountain View

Posted by Oyster on December 3, 2006

neto caffe logo

The Oyster intrepidly explores an Israeli eatery that hides its Israeliness, enjoys some good coffee, and discovers the presence of that dreaded creature, Hummus americanus.

For those of you who aren’t in-the-know, there’s a new hip cafe in Mountain View. It’s called Neto Caffe. It’s managed and was founded by Israelis, and it serves up a combination of Mediterranean cuisine and European desserts. By word of mouth, everyone’s heard of this place as “the new Israeli cafe”. Well, I have to say that of the two times that I went there, there were a fair amount of Jews/Israelis there. And they had two mezuz’ot on their two entrances, which impressed me. But other than that, there’s a conspicuous lack of any overt mention of it being Israeli or Jewish. Not in the menu, not anywhere. Contrast that with Kan Zeman on University Ave., Palo Alto, where there are Jordanian flags, pictures of King Abdullah II, and even a bas relief of Petra! Now, that’s representin’! I’d like to see an Israeli flag, a huge-ass picture of David Ben-Gurion, and a scale model of the Third Temple the Western Wall. Okay, okay, just kidding! Perhaps just replacing a few ‘mediterraneans’ with ‘Israeli’ in their signage?

So, due to your conspicuous lack of affiliation, I’m outing you, Neto. NETO IS AN ISRAELI CAFE! JEW JEW JEW! GO THERE AND NOSH ON SOME CHOCOLATE BABKA!!

Okay, now on to the restaurant review. To be blunt, I think that its a bit pricey. If it were kosher, then perhaps I’d attribute it to dem Golus schleppin’. But its not the case, so you can save that Yiddish gem (word to yo’ Bubbeh). I liked their Caffe Caramel beverage, in a Borat-y intonation. Oy, but their hummus? Don’t get me started! It’s the worst of the worst American approximations to heavenly Israeli hummus. That dreaded beast of crunchy, lumpy, unseasoned goo known as Hummus americanus. Would it kill ya to put in some salt, some garlic? Olive oil? Add to that the cost (greater than for an Indian buffet), and the underwhelming portion, and it was just a disappointment. Now, the chocolate babka (Omri!) was good. Second best only to Gradish’s mom’s babka, which is scientific proof that HaShem loves the Jewish people. Eat one of those with a Caffe Caramel, and you’re sitting pretty. And browsing the internet at the same time! Caffe Neto provides a stronger WiFi wireless connection than the Moutain View-wide free connection provided by Google. Oh, and you’re sitting pretty, sipping coffee and browsing the web late at night. Neto is open till 2 AM. Now that’s Israeli style!

Yeah, so in review: as a cafe, sure. Why not. It’s a cute, well-lit establishment. And if you like being surrounded by Israelis, go for it. But as a restaurant, better to roll down El Camino Real, and ess on the kosher delicacies at Izzy’s.


5 Responses to “Neto-Burrito: Oy Bay Reviews the New Israeli Cafe in Mountain View”

  1. Jacob said

    I was very dissappointed of the Hummus, it is very far from the worst Hummus in Israel!!!

    Prices are very expensive, 6-8 falafels for 8$ ??? Are you mad?

  2. Oyster said

    I really wanted to love their hummus. Really. I added salt, za’atar, schug… I was tempted to yell “Nurse, I need a clove of garlic, 5 cc’s of lemon juice, and a splash of olive oil, STAT!!”. Alas, all to no avail…

  3. ur said

    indeed the hummus the fisrt few days was not so good but they improve it dramatcally.
    The pastries are very good and they added new salads and sandwiches that are tasty and not expensive.

  4. Oyster said

    To be fair, I’ve only had their hummus plate. Next time, I’ll give one of those (Hillel?) sandwiches a try.

  5. […] with a delicious story about Neto’s. Consider this the Neto’s Review, Part II. Now I had not read Oyster’s review on the café when I visited, but here it is, almost two months later, and the hummus was exactly as Oyster has […]

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