The strip of California Ave, from Chicago up to, say, Division (where the Humboldt Park begins), has become something of a restaurant row in the past year or so. We’re not going to pretend to rememeber the order in which they appeared, but to Flying Saucer, TipsyCake and Feed, one can now add Cosmospolitan, a Greek/Mediterranean/American that just opened last week.
Two things to note: the first is that additional ‘s’, which turned the normal Greek-derived word “Cosmopolitan” into the vaguely Russian “Cosmospolitan.” We feel that it should be pronounced cosmo-spolitan, but it’s not. At any rate, it’s more memorable than “Cosmopolitan,” which comes off as clichéd and downscale (because if you need to claim that you’re cosmopolitan, you’re not). The second order of business is the menu, which falls somewhere in between Greek restaurant and Greek diner. On the restaurant end, you get things like Spartan Pork Chops (two juicy chops served Greek style in a lemon and olive oil sauce and served with red potatoes and wild rice, $10) and Linguini Shrimp Diablo (Gulf shrimp sauteed in our homemade diablo sauce served over linguini, $11), while on the diner side, burgers ($7) and six different salad options ($6-$9) are available. Blurring the distinction, the prices are rather low - even for a diner - and many of the items have a sophisticated twist (the Greek salad includes beets and pineapples; the BLT comes with avocado). The hours aren’t particularly generous (closes before midnight every day), but the BYO policy is. We think this sounds like a nice neighborhood spot, and a worthy addition to the California Ave collection.