Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Aug 7th, 2014

Panini Cosmopolitan Cafe opens in Westwood

Panini Cosmopolitan CafeThis new Mediterranean style café/bistro that also happens to specialize in Tequila has recently opened up in Westwood, not in the village but lower down Westwood Blvd. Yes parking can be a hassle, but at $3.50 it is manageable. The restaurant can loosely be described as a Mexican Mediterranean inspired café/bistro with several signature items on the very large menu. Aggressive marketing has got the place off to a brisk start, and if the kitchen quality can be maintained the Panini Cosmopolitan Café has a bright future.

The ambience is very relaxing starting with the trendy bar area, easy and comfortable furnishings, muted lighting and an outside patio with a water fountain and white draperies where you can mentally transport yourself for an hour or more to somewhere in the Mediterranean region.

Appetizers are plentiful with a nice selection of Tacos priced at $8.95 to $11.95 for a pair of large sized tacos, although I am a little bemused at the Plating Split charge of $4.95 which I find a little disconcerting frankly, especially if you are not particularly hungry. Hopefully they will drop that soon.

I suggest you go for the BBQ Pork Sliders ($7.95) for three of them on Hawaiian Bread with chipotle aioli and pickles.

The signature items would include but are not limited to caramelized carnitas, Puerto Nuevo Lobster tacos, stuffed eggplant, freshly marinated charbroiled chicken and Filet kabobs. I tried a few items such as the Charbroiled Chicken Shish Kabob ($9.95) which is served with the rather excellent basmati rice, and also the Filet Mignon Kabob ($18.95), which along with the Jumbo Grilled Shrimp is by far the most Expensive main course on the menu. However, with the wholesale price of beef going through the roof lately, it’s still a good deal. My guest really appreciated the Charbroiled Salmon ($14.95), which comes with Mexican rice, beans and grilled vegetables.

There are selections of hand muddled mojitos and margaritas and the handcrafted organic agave sweet and sour mix is made with fresh fruit. There is a peach or pomegranate sangria that goes with the Mexican food on the menu, and the cocktails that stand out are the Cosmopolitan Greyhound and the Pomegranate Martini. All martinis and other drinks are all priced under $10 by the way.

Part owner chef Moe Ghazi has had a series of profitable ventures in Orange County and this is his first soiree into Los Angeles. He seemed genuinely excited and enthusiastic about this place, and since the prices tend to be
ridiculously low for the area he is probably on to a winner in an area of town where people tend to eat out a lot.

Panini Cosmopolitan Café
1553 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Open 7 days a week 11 am to 11 pm.
Happy Hour from 3p.m to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Taco Tuesday 4 p.m to 11 p.m. Tacos $1.50 all night w/free chips/salsa

About the Author

- Michael Hepworth is a food, spirits and travel writer who contributes to magazines, newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles, Dubai, London and Mumbai.

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Panini Cosmopolitan Cafe opens in Westwood