Square bowls? Square spoons? Square layout? A cubical log cabin constructed from girders of herbed feta and olive-oil-slicked watermelon? In the former location of Merida, the beloved, long-defunct Old Pasadena patio restaurant famous both for its seafood botanas and for the dolorous sight of regular David Lee Roth barricaded behind a wall of empties, rises Neo Meze, a dimly lit new small-plates restaurant whose design is as rigorously gridded as any mid-period Mondrian, and whose neo-clubber clientele could be cast in a remake of A Night at the Roxbury. As is the custom at the moment, the dishes at Neo Meze are rarely content to reflect the virtues of one cuisine when three or four would do, so that an assortment of dips to use with toasted flatbread includes Indian chutney as well as a Greek tzatziki and a Lebanese-ish red-pepper chutney, and the slider plate includes a tiny beefburger, a kebab-seasoned chicken burger and a shredded-carrot thing that could have come off a Sri Lankan buffet table, with Spanish romesco sauce and a blue-cheese aioli on the side. The macaroni is baked, of course, with four cheeses, no more, no less. And then there’s the Kobe kibbe. The short wine list, I am sorry to say, is as square as the lounge music. 20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 793-3010.

LA Weekly