Soussi

Lounge, Patio/Rooftop, Bar
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Editorial Review

Although only open since June 2002, Soussi has a comfortable, lived-in feeling, from the red-walled bar to the large wooden porch. Step inside the building, which used to house Pearl, and Soussi seems far away from the maddening crowds that descend on nearby bars like Heaven and Hell and Crush.

The bar has a French-style draft beer system, one of only a handful in the city, where glasses are rinsed just before serving, to ensure the glass is clean and to improve the head of the beer. Belgian brews like Leffe and Hoegaarden are on offer, and bartenders mix drinks with aplomb. A small plates menu is based around French-influenced North African cooking - favorites include merguez (spicy lamb sausages) and pastilla, a Moroccan dish of spiced chicken tucked inside a puff pastry, while the entrees include plenty of steak and seafood. Upstairs, the small dining area is has been reconfigured as a North African-style lounge, with low chairs and couches, curtains and artworks. In warm weather, the spacious patio is a draw.

-- Fritz Hahn (Updated January 2003)