If you've ever noticed the restaurant below the center escalators in South Coast Plaza's
Crystal Court home store wing, you may have spotted a few changes taking place. Nello Cucina shuttered earlier this year, making room for a Middle Eastern, full-service concept. From the owners of Boubouffe in Belmont Shore, Mezzet Mediterranean Cuisine will open their doors and patio for lunch and dinner service in a few months.
Specializing in small plates, their future exhibition-style kitchen will put out kebabs, salads and other tasty morsels to pair with a full bar of liquid refreshment. Reports of Moroccan tagines and couscous dishes normally found at their Long Beach spot will be a welcome sight in this part of the plaza. Chef de cuisine is listed as Antonio Mattina, with Colin Colville as consulting chef.
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When retail therapy has got you hangry this summer, cool your heels in Mezzet's dining room over a glass of white. And if you spot a familiar face, that may be co-owner Joseph Dib. He moonlights as management at the perpetually busy Antonello Espresso Cafe across the way.