Not a ton to report since I had very little personal time to explore. Briefly:
Machneyuda in Jerusalem = amazing. The dishes almost all were true to a sense of place. They each managed to maintain a firmly recognizable identity within the vocabulary of "Israeli" food but also showcased the chefs (plural) creativity and forward thinking. Had the tasting menu which featured at least a taste of eight different dishes and two desserts. Desserts were awesome, but not necessarily strongly informed by the region. Also, an amazing polenta with mushrooms and truffles (not just truffle oil) was served. Excellent, but was too large a serving for a tasting and, frankly, wasn't what I was looking for. Still, that left seven dishes that were each outrageously delicious, surprising in some way, and deeply connected to the flavors and ingredients of the region. I'm actually deeply envious. We need a restaurant like this in LA badly. I chatted up a trio seated next to me. Three women from Tel Aviv that drove to Jerusalem to make a 10:30 reservation at Machneyuda . . . on a work night . . . just because "there is no other place like this" in Tel Aviv. I rest my case.
Gatsby Cocktail Room was an excellent speakeasy, even though it's easily bested by say The Varnish or say the Wilson and Wilson Detective Agency in SF.
Even more briefly:
La Shuk is Tel Aviv was solid. I was looking for restaurants that were deeply interested in staying rooting in the kitchens of the region and this place didn't disappoint. Was a clear tier below Machneyuda in Jerusalem, but had a related energy and perspective.
Went to RustiCo with a group. Surprisingly good authentic Italian. Carbonara with smoked goose breast was excellent.
Sabich Frischman was quite tasty. We need the sabich in LA. Tasty, fast, vegetarian, customizable, filling but not heavy. Falafel sandwiches are for jerks. The sabich is king. Its a pita stuffed with slow roasted strips of eggplant, roasted egg, boiled potato that is tricked out with all manner of fresh and pickled vegetables along with a number of sauces and dry seasonings. Layered, complex, completely satisfying.
Arte gelato would instantly be fighting Bulgarini for top honors were it LA. The texture. was. perfect. The flavors were intense and natural, never cloying or overly sweet. Highlights were legion, but the pistachio and the bread and butter were my favorites.
Spicehaus tries a little too hard, but largely succeeded as a craft cocktail bar. Service was inattentive and slow . . . better to order your second round when your first arrives.
Many other delicious bites, but those were the highlights. I hope that helps future travelers at least a little bit.