A new South Beach-themed restaurant and nightclub is spicing up the Westgate Entertainment District.
“It’s a beautiful working environment from the people, to the drinks and the food,” says bartender Kia Snyder. “If you haven’t been to Miami and you just want a little taste of it, definitely come to Bodega.”
Bodega’s menu boasts the flavors of Miami and Cuba, coupled with fun tropical cocktails. Guests can choose from signature Cuban dishes, but they’re experimenting with other selections, said owner John Tsailakis. Some of the choices include Miami Heart burrito with scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, cheddar jack cheese blend, tortilla chips, salsa verde, salsa roja, queso fresco and sour cream ($12); Cubano sandwich with ham, roasted pork, pickles, Swiss cheese, mustard and Cuban bread ($16); and Cuban bowl featuring marinated pork, coconut rice, black beans, plantains, avocado and mojo sauce ($16).
Other favorites are the guacamole trio dip with pomegranate or mango habanero or crispy pork belly and queso fresco ($19 for all three); and the Italian sub with ham, pepperoni, salami, red onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, provolone cheese all on Cuban bread ($16).
“Just like with anything, you want to see what the guest really is looking for,” Tsailakis says about future menu changes.
The formula seems to be working, per Bodega staffers.
“We’re getting booming nowadays, says Ashley Sandige, head server. “People know about us, and people are spreading the word. We’re getting parties, people are wanting to come spend their time and special events here.”
Tsailakis and Sandige are anticipating a significant uptick in business for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in early February.
“The Super Bowl is going to be insane, specifically at Westgate it’s going to be insane but Bodega, I know it’s going to be a grand time,” Sandige says.
Tsailakis says he learned firsthand about the Super Bowl frenzy when, in 2015, he and Salt Tacos y Tequila hosted the Patriots on short notice.
“We’re going to be staffed for sure. We’re going to be ready and just take things as they come,” Tsailakis said.
He said the establishment doesn’t have special plans for the Super Bowl but will be prepared in case teams or corporate groups want to use Bodega.
“It’s only going to go up from here at this point. We’re already busy but once people start knowing our name more it’s just going to get crazier in here,” Snyder says.
Tsailakis owns the restaurant with his father, Chris, who cofounded My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in 2001. When Tsailikis moved to Arizona after graduating from the University of Washington, the father-son duo opened Salt Tacos y Tequila before Bodega. Bodega is the fourth business Tsailakis opened in Westgate and the third restaurant opened by his team in less than a year. The others are Salt Tacos y Tequila in San Tan Village and the Shops at Norterra. Bodega is in the former Whiskey Rose space.
“We wanted to do something that had some of the same characteristics that people love about Salt with a different kind of vibe,” Tsailakis says. “We wanted to bring something that was food focused but also had the nightlife appeal for the consumer. We kind of thought, ‘Hey, what’s not here?’”
Westgate Entertainment District
6751 N. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 110, Glendale