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Eater Inside: Neomeze

This new Mediterranean "small plates" restaurant and lounge took over the Sol y Azul space in Old Town Pasadena in December, right next to the 35er sports bar/meat market. One of several co-owners, Aidin Yousef, told us that the group bought the space while it was still the casual Mexican spot, then closed and renovated it. There's a main dining room, two bars, an enclosed patio (with retractable roof) for indoor/outdoor smoking/lounging, and an outdoor patio that sits on Mercantile Alley (the same alley as Lucky Baldwin's). Another partner, Armen Gharabigian from Ethos Design, designed the space and furniture; it looks very contemporary and non-chainy. A plus for any newcomer in Old Town. As the name suggests, the menu is a global take on the tapas idea, so expect a few Spanish influences, some Indian, some Armenian, most under $15. Not the most inspired wine list, but prices are kept low; martinis look to be of the overly sweet variety, but hell, as long as there's liquor, it should be OK for awhile.

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