Cleo

Cleo

By Valaer Murray

In a neighborhood pockmarked with pizza joints, Cleo shines as a beacon of both substance and style. This desert mirage, a retro-modern spot inside the boutique Redbury hotel, promises quality, non-touristy dining at the apex of Hollywood and Vine. Entering through the dark, gold-leafed archway, you get that flutter of excitement not unlike lifting the clay top of a steaming lamb tagine. The surprisingly affordable menu re-imagines veggie-heavy Mediterranean staples—think the earthy, acidic, and salty flavors of a deconstructed hummus facing off over crunchy crudite and warm laffa bread. Brussels sprout petals are sautéed with almonds and salty capers until satisfyingly crunchy—could this be the new kale chip? Some flavors, like the cooling mint dip of the crisp potato croquettes, hint at an Anglophilic leaning in the kitchen, adding to Cleo’s earthy mystique. To top if off, the carefully curated cocktail list complements the menu with longtime favorites like the Janapolitan, as well as newer additions such as the Raspbury Twist and the Old Hollywood.

... on the side

beans to spill
Chef Danny Elmaleh is a Culinary Institute of America alum who cut his teeth in Japan and Milan before coming to LA and joining the sbe group of restaurants, which also includes Katsuya, The Bazaar by José Andrés, and Mercato di Vetro.

if I were a movie, I’d be…
A Cleopatra remake—starring Alicia Keys, and closer to Cecil B. DeMille’s Art Deco version.

on the stereo
An upbeat mix of old (Stevie Wonder and The Cure) and new (Radiohead Mumford & Sons).

decibels
High

hours

6 PM–midnight daily

price range

$8 to $16
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