Cleo on Vine
First, I have to say we just returned from the PNW (PDX, Astoria, SEA). Had dinner one night at Toro Brava in PDX. Fabulous meal. Basque tapas. So, I have Tapas on the brain.
Tonight had tx for Billy Elliott. My friend and I went to Cleo before show.
Again, tapas. Mediterranean style. DELICIOUS! Kind attentive staff. Go early. Place fills up fast. We arrived just before 6P when they open.
Ordered the babaganoush, roasted cauliflower, artichoke and olives. He had the garlic shrimp and I had the mussels tagine w/chickpeas/capers/tomato . What an incredibly fine meal.
CLEO it's the place to be!
Next on my list: Tinto in PSP - Jose Garces new place. Tapas of course.
We also had a lovely dinner there last night as our first adventure out on the new Expo line. It was a suddent choice and even though we had no reservation on a busy night, they were SO nice. They said they would do the best they could, and let us know in a little bit if it was hopeless. After a little bit of a wait (which included some celeb gazing), they sat us.
The waitress was also very sweet and knowledgeable of the diverse menu. The drinks came fast and the dishes well paced... The Stand out dishes were...
* The Grilled Octopus: Wonderfully gridded and smokey, but still SO tender. We loved all the accompaniments.
* Zucchini Fritters: Again, the accompaniments shine here, Especially they pickles on top of the fritters, which made the otherwise unexciting Zucchini shine.
* Lamb Tartare: A small portion, but well spiced and it comes with PLENTY of the munchiest crackers ever.
Skip next time:
* Meatball Tagine: Pretty typical meatballs and tomato based sauce
* Flatbreads: It was missing an element of depth like garlic... it also was a bit overly charred. Charcoal bombs occassionally overpowered the otherwise wonderful and plentiful mushrooms.
For the flatbreads, go to Mezze on La Cienega in the former sona space. Realllllly good.
I have a birthday celebration soon and am debating whether to go to Mezze, where I have been twice and liked it very much both times, or Cleo for the first time, or maybe Wood & Vine nearby.
Female friend has been to none of the places, yet loves the food being offered at both Cleo and Mezze.
Will know the choice within the next few days. PS - It is her birthday as well.