Just when you thought sushi restaurants were the "it" dining spots in Eastside Costa Mesa, a Greek cafe opens on East 17th Street to dazzle locals. It's only been a few months since the casual Greek Town Grill served its first customer, and already its rich and irresistible moussaka, gyros filled with layers of thinly sliced marinated lamb, and hearty salads with charbroiled meats are the talk of the town.
Owner Jim Marutsos, 35, is the son of Greek immigrants and no stranger to running Greek culinary hotspots. With his mother, Penny, he also owns the festive and Aegean Cafe on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Aegean is a popular special-occasion restaurant, where you can get a taste the good life of a Greek, complete with traditional cuisine, live music, dancing waiters and even belly dancers.
When it came time to open a second restaurant, Marutsos stripped away the bells and whistles that make Aegean a lively destination spot and focused instead on the delicious foods of Greece, served in an attractive and accessible strip mall.