Dancing The Night Away -- Arabian Style

LA MESA -- Among the newest Jewels of the Hill are some of the new restaurants that have followed the burgeoning population of Iraqi, Chaldean and other Middle Eastern immigrants that now call La Mesa, Santee and El Cajon home.

La Mesa may be able to brag about having one of the best of these new places.

Unassuming from the outside, Haritna Mediterranean almost overwhelms you with ambiance and comfort when you enter the establishment on El Cajon Boulevard. It is fast becoming a favorite of a wide variety of La Mesa residents, including families who like the kid friendly selections and the family friendly pricing.

On a recent Friday night, Vanessa, a stunning dancer, was performing to popular Arabian music to a dining audience that ranged in age from six to 86. The style is referred to as "belly dancing,'' but we suspect the Arabic word for this style is richer. It is an ethnic dance style that clearly demonstrates a sophistication on a par with Irish step dancing and other folk styles.

Plates of hummus and sautéed eggplant, roasted chicken and among the best oven-fresh bread East County has to offer were spread out across Haritna tables family style. Within minutes, eight-year-old Adeline Ortega was up dancing (see video) and her father (above)  later took to the stage as well.

Haritna features comedy nights and jazz nights as well as its regular Saturday night belly dancing performances. This Saturday's performance starts about 9 p.m. The restaurant also features an outdoor cigar and hookah lounge. The restaurant is located at 7303 El Cajon Boulevard, La Mesa.

Music At The Parkway

The Parkway Bar is featuring two live bands this weekend Seaholm & MacIntosh Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. and Fat Man's Misery on Saturday night starting at 9 p.m.

The bar, which regularly features music and arts events is located at 9188 Fletcher Parkway.

Sunday's At Six Concert

This week's Sundays At Six Concert features Sonic Epidemic, a '70s rock band that delivers all the sound and power associated with that era in American music.
The concert starts at 6 p.m. -- hence the name -- and it is, as advertised, on Sunday at Harry Griffen Park. Bring a chair or blanket.



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Tags: Hartina Mediterranean Restaurant, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Parkway Bar, Sundays At Six Concerts


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Comment by La Mesa Today on July 21, 2013 at 1:24pm

Frankly, more amazing to me is how Yousef seasons his roasted chicken! Pretty great.

Comment by Marie McLaughlin on July 20, 2013 at 7:39am

Correction...the belly dancer was balancing a flaming candelabra...not a chandelier!

Comment by Marie McLaughlin on July 19, 2013 at 7:47pm

We've been twice to Haritna--Belly Dance Night & Comedy Night.  Very cool little restaurant, laid out very nicely, and they try very hard to show you a good time while serving very good food at excellent prices.  The belly dancer came out balancing a chandelier on her head...was very engaging with the audience.  Comedy night had about 6 different performers to entertain while you dined.  Fantastic value, no cover charge but tips are appreciated.  They also have a jazz night for those who might be so inclined.  Prices are great from about $6 for a chicken kabob pita with hummus to gyros around $9.  Highest priced items on the menu, lamb or salmon kabob plates are around $13-$15. 

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