Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dinner at Cleo, The Redbury Hotel, Hollywood & Vine, LA

Have often driven past The Redbury, as we stay only a few blocks away right under the Hollywood sign.  So we were excited to visit this new venture by sbe who also own the SLS Hotel (which has  Bazaar Restaurant) amongst many other restaurants and bars.   This amazing refurb was curated by Creative Director Matthew Rolston in collaboration with sbe Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian.  Amazing.  The restaurant is really cool, and the food very good.  Well done Executive Chef Daniel Emaleh.

You enter this amazing hallway, with Cleo restaurant on the right and the lifts to the left.  People everywhere and extremely loud music.  The whole place was jumping.
Our table was not quite ready, so they suggested we head upstairs for a drink.  The Library was closed for a private party, but the outdoor Courtyard Glade was open.  Really lovely area.

We then headed to the restaurant.  We were seated at the oversized tables and chairs right beside the frantic kitchen.  This also gave us an amazing view across the entire restaurant.  As soon as a table was vacated, it was filled.  The entire entrance was jammed with people waiting for a table.  It was also so loud you could barely talk.   Scarlett Johannson was a few tables away, barely recognisable with her blonde hair pulled back and wearing huge horn rimmed glasses.  Don't think many people realised it was her.  Also spied Tyra Banks.
The menu is described as Middle Eastern, and is designed to share with lots and lots of small dishes.  I must say my heart fell when I realised the food was Middle Eastern, as I don't think I've ever had a good one.  But...... this restaurant has changed my mind.  Among the dishes we had were -

Artichoke, Nicoise Olives from the Wood Burning Oven.  Really fabulous.
Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Parsley, Almonds, Red Wine Vinaigrette.  The standout dish for me - little flakes of Sprouts.
Tuna Tartar with Oranges, Olives, Harissa, Avocado.  Served separately then mixed by the waiter at the table with really crispy biscuits.  Really good, and the taste of orange was refreshing.
Spanakopita were delicious - had to order more.
 The Heirloom Tomato, Feta, Picholine, Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette Salad was great, as were the Market Greens (with Nectarines, Zhoug, Spiced Almonds, Marinated Feta, Smoked Shallots).
The Spicy Potatoes were very full on.   Bit much really.
The Zucchini Keftedes (Drained Yoghurt, Pressed Zucchini Salad) were lovely, little Zucchini cakes with sliced Zucchini on top.  The Flatbreads, cooked in the huge pizza oven, were lovely.  We had the Artichoke (with Crushed Potato, Wilted Arugula, Aged Mozzarella).
The Lamb Shawarma (with Caramelized Onions, Lebaneh, Harissa, Grilled Lafa) were excellent, wrapped in their own soft flatbread like a Taco, as were the Sliders (Sonoma Lamb, Feta, Harissa Aioli, Sweet Pickled Shallots).  The Chicken Tagine (Preserved Lemon, Almonds, Olives, Roasted Tomatoes, Saffron Rice) was disappointing, but the Pork Belly was good, although very rich.
We finished with the most amazing desserts - a Chocolate Pudding and a Butterscotch  Caramel Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream.  Beautifully presented - both great.
Also discovered a lovely Moroccan wine - Thalvin 'De Siroua' Syrah 2008 and only $45.

Overall a great experience.  Food great, service excellent, good and reasonably priced wine list (most wines $40 - $50) -  recommend a visit.


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