Armenian Dolls

La Méditerranée, a Pacific Height’s neighborhood retreat, serves up delectable Middle Eastern cuisine presented at a reasonable price. The atmospheric décor and relics reflect the owner Levon’s eclectic tastes and sentiments: Armenian dolls, collections of photographs, and news articles, celebrating the history of la Méditerranée, pepper the walls. Warm and colorful, this setting suggests that, instead of eating at a restaurant, you are dining in a friend’s home.

When ordering at la Méditerranée, close your eyes and point to a menu item; you will relish your selection, no doubt. Some favorites of mine include the Armenian Tomato Salad (diced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta topped with a sweet tomato vinaigrette and mint), Chicken Cilicia (cinnamon-spiced chicken, almonds, currants, and chickpeas inside a fillo pastry topped with powdered sugar), and Chicken Pomegranate (juicy and tender drumsticks marinated in a pomegranate sauce). If you have never visited la Méditerranée, I would recommend the Mediterranean Meza, which is a sampling of appetizers followed by a selection of la Méditerranée’s most popular items.

More often than not, Levon or his son Vanick can be seen chatting with guests or running beautiful catering platters out for delivery. Overall, the service is excellent, and the entire staff exudes such a friendly and graceful vibe. Efficient service and good food, however, do not always inspire customers (unless it is poor enough to inspire the customer to leave). Instead, customers respond to a unique aesthetic, an amiable server who knows and appreciates the cuisine, and a special dining experience that is born from individuality, effort, and care. La Méditerranée boasts character, novelty, and meticulous attention to detail.

After dinner, stop by D&M, two stores down, to pick up the chocolaty 2007 Bliss Merlot, and retire home to watch The Triplets of Belleville, an animated French-Canadian-British-Belgium film by Sylvain Chomet.

The Triplets of Belleville transports you to a world that celebrates and accentuates strange little curiosities and observations. It takes liberty with proportions and perspectives, while containing almost no dialogue. In fact, the film is a modern day Cabinet of Curiosities.

Akin to la Méditerranée’s aesthetic, The Triplets of Belleville flawlessly weds a diverse collection of eras, cultures, and styles. Its retro animation remains provocative, and most importantly, absolutely breathtaking. Both restaurant and film are transplants, and although they both transcend their legacies and exceed all expectations of cuisine and cinema, they manage to remain true to their beloved foundations and traditions.