Cleo Restaurant: A Mesmerizing Mediterranean Experience

I love this place-the end. No, really I love it and there is no denying that if I could, I would shove fistfuls of  Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh’s Mediterranean influenced food into my mouth with the same finesse as a contestant in a food eating challenge. Recently, I joined a group of friends at Cleo, located inside The Redbury Hotel at Hollywood and Vine. Cleo is a layered experience for multiple senses. As you enter and pass the demur hostess stand and approach the dinning area, your eyes have no other option but to gradually adjust to the dim lighting. Simultaneously, your ears fill up with the reverberating sound waves rippling through the air; sounds created by groups of people chatting, silverware clanking on plates and celebratory cheers bursting as glasses toast in unison. Essential to eating is smelling the food, your nose is the next sense to become adulterated as you forcefully inhale the smells of the open kitchen while your eyes dance around the menu and glance at nearby tables to check out the dishes. The magical experience of taste will be the most exhilarating sense jolted with flavor when you place your food into your mouth. If you have yet to step outside your comfort zone of chain restaurants this place at first glance might seem overwhelming; it’s trendy and packed with a cornucopia of beautiful (food and attention) hungry souls. It’s Los Angeles, people and places have a tendency to put on a good front; what you see isn’t always what you get, and I mean this in a positive way for the restaurant. This particular dining experience brought together in one big-fancy-box of a restaurant an array of people. Directly across from me was a group of girls wearing bright pink wigs celebrating a bachelorette party,  next to them was a casually dressed couple with awesome tattoos and behind my table a group of 30-somethings dressed to impress and taking selfies. If you want to have a date night and don’t mind the cacophony of patrons enjoying their company and food go to Cleo. You will be better off if you make reservations and they do have a corkage fee of 20. It’s an unpretentious place, so don’t be intimidated by the high-end luxury cars rolling up to the valet. Ah, that reminds me-parking. It is hollywood and parking is not cheap. My advice is to valet it at the restaurant; it should cost you less than 10, as long as you dine there. Dress to impress, whether that means a nice white shirt and jeans or  a cocktail dress, go enjoy a classy looking place  with down-to-earth waiters serving delicious Mediterranean food. 

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