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Central Bistro & Bar, which opened in July 2012 in LoHi, was conceived as a “gathering place” rather than a destination restaurant, but since this is one of the town’s hottest restaurant neighborhoods, the kitchen can get away with serving white-tablecloth-worthy fare in such a casual way that you don’t hesitate to order it while sipping a cocktail and dishing about the day. The menu is deceptively simple; descriptions include a string of simple ingredients that don’t begin to hint at the time or technique involved in preparing each dish – or how delightful those dishes can be. Comfort food doesn’t have to be simple (like macaroni and cheese or pizza) to make us feel good, this menu seems to be saying; it just has to taste good. Now if owner Isiah Salazar could just turn down the “hot” sign over the bar, a reminder of the days when his family owned the nearby (and now defunct) Regency Hotel.