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.
The Orlando Hotel
8384 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
tel 323 579 1600
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.