Last night, I got to discover this new spot, so I can share my first impressions. SBE corporate chef Daniel Elmalel has composed a good menu with food from around the Mediterranean basin. Strangely enough, there is no cuisine offered from Egypt, home of the original Cleo(patra). Greece and Morocco are well-represented with dishes like tatziki, moussaka, grilled octopus and couscous. For now, avoid the beef cheek tagine which needs work. Prices range from just $6, with nothing on the menu more than $16, making it a good value. The bar will draw crowds with their interesting specialty cocktails. Mix all the above and you get a great, noisy, place for the young and young-at-heart.
I did have some décor issues, though. Why is there this (horrible) green on the walls? Doesn’t Cleopatra evoke gold or sand tones? Why not re-paint the room in those colors? It would give life to the room under its industrial ceiling. Strangely, there is quite a chaos of decorative elements in the room.
Nazarian wants a celebrity to smash some plates in the Greek tradition on a nightly basis. He did it himself on Sunday night during a soft opening celebration. I got the honor to do it yesterday! It was even more fun than I had anticipated.
Unlike Cleopatra, who was the last pharaoh to rule over Egypt, this will not be Nazarian’s last project by far. The busy developer is currently working on SLS hotels in Las Vegas and Miami.
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