After craving Mediterranean food for the better part of 2016, I decided to finally do something about it. Some intense IFS (Internet Foodie Searching) led me to a place called Cleo Hollywood whose menu matched my nagging cravings: hummus, harissa, yogurt, lamb, mint, chickpeas, bring it. I made up my mind right then and there to make my friends trek all the way to Hollywood on a weeknight for May’s installment of SDSC. Needless to say, this post is sponsored by Waze.
After an adventurous drive from Marina Del Rey, the four of us finally made it to the valet beside the Redbury Hollywood, which houses the restaurant. True to its namesake, Cleo Hollywood is a blend of Mediterranean charm and Hollywood glamour. Everyone inside appears sexy, but that may have been the dim lighting. Before even glancing at the cocktail menu, be prepared to talk about the incredibly divine, velvety chairs with your companions for at least 4 minutes. Interestingly enough, we didn’t order a second round of drinks but a second round of the doughy, to-die-for bread—served blistering hot in a paper bag. Also a bit unexpected was how we collectively swooned over a mushroom dish (see details below).
The overall take-away from this dining experience was that a) I need more Mediterranean food in my life and b) I surely don’t have to drive all the way to Hollywood to find it.
Here’s what we ordered:
Labneh with Feta
Chicken Kabob & Lamb Kabob
Mushrooms II Dates, Hazelnuts, Puffed Wild Rice
Brussels Sprouts II Capers, Parsley, Almonds, Red Wine Vinaigrette
Lamb Tagine II Apricots, Silan, Couscous, Sesame Seeds
Grilled Octopus II Celery, Crushed Potatoes, Lemon Vinaigrette
Seasonal Mushroom Flatbread II Provolone, Gruyere, Parmesean, Fresno Chili, Wilted Arugula