FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Cleo on Third Review

by Elyse Glickman

Apr 21, 2020
eFlyer Reviews

A decade ago, Cleo Mediterráneo at the Redbury Hotel in Hollywood introduced stylish, trendsetting diners to executive chef Danny Elmaleh’s zesty but refined approach to Middle Eastern dining. Elmaleh first made a splash in Miami’s South Beach by combining those flavorful eats with sophisticated cocktails blending top-shelf spirits and fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. It was an equation so solid parent company (and longtime hospitality trendsetter) SBE spread Cleo’s empire in Los Angeles to Downtown Los Angeles and Third Street in West Hollywood.

At some point, the powers that be behind Cleo gave the chefs at each outpost the power to make Cleo their own to keep it relevant and prevent it from falling into various “restaurant group” tropes. Even with several crowd-pleasing staples on the pan-Mediterranean menu (from Greece, Israel, Lebanon and Morocco, among others), what makes the West Hollywood-based Cleo on Third feel like a completely different restaurant is the direction in which its kitchen, bar and management staff take things in.

This is all the more true on weekends with the recently rolled-out Sunday brunch. On a sunny day, the location takes on an almost beach-y Santa Monica vibe minus the “Westside” crowds or parking hassles. While the menu is relatively small, Cleo on Third’s chef Jan Claudio creates big flavors and generous plates with dishes that combine American and Middle Eastern sensibilities. On the savory side, highlights include crispy buttermilk calamari, a breakfast burger with harissa and fried egg and a Moroccan fried chicken sandwich. Traditional omelets and other familiar dishes are enlivened with a side of twice-baked potatoes and tzatziki. Even those not into anything sweet or light may be swayed with the decadent ricotta pancakes, Greek salad and Greek yogurt parfait.

The predominantly female bar staff, meanwhile, goes for the bold with a spicy Bloody Mary that’s very “Instagrammable” even without going full-on Carmen Miranda or bacon crazy with the garnishes (and is a great partner for twice-baked potatoes and tzatziki done a la carte). The spritzer has fresh crushed oranges instead of purée. While an extra $18 allows unlimited white sangria mimosas or Bellinis, it’s interesting to keep in mind the fresh-pressed juices are just as delicious as a base for vodka or tequila as they are on their own, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Cleo on Third can also multitask both during the week and on weekends as a great centralized location for business dinners and lunches, with 6,300 square feet of versatile event space, private second-floor dining room, social menus for breakfast and dinner meetings and some input from the full-service bar.

Cleo on Third

The Orlando Hotel
8384 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
tel 323 579 1600


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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