After embarking on a rather classic gastronomic career (Institut Bocuse in Lyon, La Résidence de la Pinède in Saint-Tropez), a stint on France’s Top Chef and six months in the kitchens of the concept store Jogging, Ella Aflalo finally set up shop in Marseille’s Noailles neighborhood, at Yima – a Judeo-Arabic reconciliation around the word “mama.” In her small haven designed by Pierre Lacroix (hardwood floors, mallard green lacquer, vintage Guzzini lamps), the cooking is done by an all-female team, while the stylish gadjos take care of guests. The day we went for lunch, the trans-Levantine shared plates were worthy of Ottolenghi: a comforting shakshuka with feta and za’atar; delicious roasted broccoli generously topped with raita and pomegranate chermoula, all vivified by fresh mint and cilantro; an utterly simple caponata served with new potatoes; tender oven-roasted sweet potato with a raw cream for dipping, almond and preserved lemon harissa, pickled carrots, pomegranate seeds and sumac; before a good pistachio gazelle horn cookie with whipped cream and raspberries, chosen over the baghrir (a “thousand-hole” crepe). On the weekends, brunch on: pancakes, fresh fruit and mascarpone; homemade spiced granola with maple syrup; shakshuka made with a spicy red sauce, runny eggs, feta, fresh herbs and za’atar; a Reuben sandwich made on semolina flour bread, with beef pastrami, red cabbage coleslaw and aged cheddar… // A.S.
FEELING THIRSTY? Living wines: a Beaujolais blanc from Jean-Claude Lapalu (€6 a glass), a Cévenol red from Le Mas Foulaquier (€27 a bottle), a macerated Apulian white from Progetto Calcarius (€29)…
PRICE: À la carte €18 to €32.50, breakfast €8, brunch €5.50 to €15 (Saturday and Sunday).