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Tapas Time! 

Roseangel is out; La Boca Barrio is in

In mid-June, Detroit Shoreway's Roseangel closed after a less-than-explosive year in business. The final nail in the coffin was chef-partner Marlin Kaplan's exodus to Dragonfly in Ohio City.

In the wake of Kaplan's departure, owner Rosita Kutkut has decided to return to the Latin theme of her initial restaurant, La Boca. She's enlisted consulting chef Susan Walters to help rebrand the place.

Last week, the team rolled out La Boca Barrio, a laid-back tapas bar that focuses on the foods of Latin America.

"If anybody knows tapas, it's me," says Walters, who ran the popular Spanish-themed eatery KeKA in the late '90s. "This is my food."

Now more than ever, says Walters, diners have warmed to the concept of small plates. Barrio will serve no entrées, but rather some 30 tapas, plus salads, bocadillos (sandwiches), and flatbreads.Items on the new menu include chorizo empanadas, meatballs in tangy sauce, saffron rice with ham and olives, sizzling garlic shrimp, classic tortillas Española, salt cod croquettes, and fennel-crusted tuna. The "tapas grande" platter includes an assortment of dishes.

Wine, sangria, sherry, and cocktails are available, and a pretty patio offers a pleasant place to enjoy them.

"Roseangel wasn't a concept that really worked," Walters explains. "We made the restaurant a whole lot more casual, a whole lot more fun. It's like happy hour all night long, with really great pricing."

Find them at 5800 Detroit Ave. For more info, call 216-961-5800.

Are downtown diners hungry for a hibachi-style restaurant? We'll find out in early August when Tomo Japanese Steakhouse opens in the Warehouse District. Construction has already begun on the building, which sits at 1293 West Ninth St. adjacent to Anatomy Nightclub.

The ambitious and costly project required a complete gutting of the multi-level space, says building owner Tina Lucic. The restaurant will feature 10 hibachi tables and a sushi bar on the main floor, plus a second-level lounge. Tomo's operators run similar eateries elsewhere in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Emerging Chefs' monthly dinner series continues on Saturday, July 16, with the Summer White Party, set for 6 to 10 p.m. on the historic East Ninth Street Pier, in space that was formerly the Cleveland Skate Park.

Preparing the repast will be chef Matthew Mytro. Tickets are $65. Learn more at emergingchefs.com.

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