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Spiro Agnew Would Love Santa Monica’s Cafe Athens

Cafe Athens is a ‘90s version of a Greek family restaurant. Instead of cramming its walls with black-and-white glossies of the owner’s favorite Greek celebrities, Cafe Athens art-directed its Greek pride: Along the top of one wall you see the names CASSAVETES . . . DUKAKIS . . . STAMOS in bold teal letters; larger-than life, teal-tinted photos of other famous Greeks and Greek-Americans (of course, Maria Callas) appear around the room. (On the menu, there’s a picture of Spiro Agnew at a White House press conference.)

The food--stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita and lobster linguine!--is more professionally done (and less homey) than your average Greek family restaurant. The prices are higher than what a Greek mama would charge, too.

But some things never change in a Greek restaurant:

Can’t find your waiter? That might be him with his fellow waiters in the middle of the dining room--singing, dancing, dragging you away from your flaming cheese appetizer to line dance. And if you’re concerned about getting your next course, don’t worry, he can spin, dip and clear your plate in one graceful motion.

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Cafe Athens, 1000 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (213) 395-1000.


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