The former home of El Gran Malo now houses Kevin Naderi's Lillo & Ella, which is currently in its soft opening phase. The Roost chef and owner transformed the Heights-area space that seats about 150, including the patio area. Naderi's new restaurant is offering pan-Asian fare in the form of snacks, small plates, skewers, salads and full entrees. It's a departure from Roost, where Naderi's wide-ranging menu calls on flavor profiles from all over the globe. Instead, Lillo & Ella has one central focus applied a variety of ways. "I like the simple clean and bright flavors," Naderi told Eater, explaining why he chose to focus on Asian fusion. He says that he also noticed that there's "not much Asian in the Heights." Naderi, bar manager Aaron Lara—formerly of Haven—and general manager Chris Fleischman have already debuted the space during some friends and family events, and the official public opening date is slated for tomorrow, May 20.
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