Chic multi-culti cafe lets you eat the world without getting up from
The wickedly stylish, neo-industrial dining room is where the action
is. At peak hours, it's jammed with good-looking young diners. The staff
is young and good looking too. They handle the rush with personable efficiency.
For those more interested in making conversation than in the capital "S" scene,
grab one of the many tables outdoors on the mall.
Balans' moderately priced, cafe-style menu trots the culinary globe,
from Asia and North Africa to the Mediterranean and the good ol' USA.
Start in Asia, with gingery pork-filled pot stickers or stay home with
crisp fried shrimp over peppery arugula salad. Equally homey is the massive
lobster club sandwich, twin slabs of crusty bread bulging with nuggets
of sweet lobster and bacon. North African grilled chicken is homey to
a different culture, but the tender, flavorful, yogurt-drizzled bird
with mildly spicy harissa sauce is good eats in any country. Finish in
Provence, with a well-made apple tart