During lean times, some say that businesses should expand while others say contract, and still others say the very system that created the leanness should be dismantled -- which even given the current climate is a very Ku-cynical position. Deciding to expand and contract, the husband & wife behind Ziziki's Taverna, open now.
Taverna's an open-kitchen, communal-table dining hall specializing in shareable, affordable Greek tapas, or mezzes; laid out by Bolsa/Geisha House's designer, the decor's postmodern-with-a-dash-of-hunting-lodge, with a cast-concrete bar, antler-nest chandeliers, and a maze-like wine rack to get you woozy before you get woozy. Cold mezzes include dolmades and artichoke dip (both original Ziziki's carryovers) as well as eggplant/caviar/roasted red bell pepper dips, Sicilian green olives, and marinated jumbo shrimp; the hot stuff stretches from caramelized onion/'shroom/mozzarella lamb-sausage flatbread, to keftedes (plum-tomato sauce Greek meatballs), to a lamb chop "Loli-Pop", which hopefully will not remind you of Lil Wayne's penis (oops, it just did). For the indefatigably fat, there are eight full-on entrees, like "Papou's Parpadella Pasta" (lamb ragu/'shrooms in bechamel), a Greek-spiced 1/2lb burger, and sauteed "Chicken Gigante", served with freakishly large Lima-like beans from Florina, Greece, where there's apparently something besides fluorinide in the water.
Because the economy can't dampen drinking, the Taverna slings 70+ vinos (most $25-$45, topping out with a $78 Cain Concept Cab), plus three taps and 30 bottles like Newcastle, Mothership Wit, and Boulevard Pale Ale; coming signature drinks'll include exotic oddities like a Metaxa Greek brandy Sidecar -- expanding on a classic cocktail, while contracting your ability to pronounce "Kucinich".