Providing an urbane setting for late-night tête-à-tetes and fine martini concoctions, Esquire Bar & Lounge sets imbibers within a warmly hued lounge, offset by elegant chandeliers and ensconced lighting. Make a toast with draft selections such as Stella Artois and Newcastle ($6 each). Fine spirits for neat-leaning tipplers include Patrón Añejo ($11) and MacCallan 18 ($18), with mixed drinks such as long island iced teas also available to sip or use to transport fish in ($11). DJs spin on the weekends, soundtracking warm conversations and dance moves.
Housed in a former lemon warehouse, Casablanca Bar & Grill fills spacious eating areas with the aromas of piquant Mediterranean cuisine. Chefs skewer beef, chicken, shrimp, and lamb kebabs and sauté seafood such as scallops and frog legs. Tender falafel balls can be dunked into tahini sauce or rolled across white tablecloths into the mouth of a dinner companion.
Live entertainment at Casablanca Bar & Grill engages eyes as well as mouths. On Friday nights, belly dancers swivel their hips as they weave through wisps of smoke from flavored hookahs. Paintings in ornate gilt frames keep watch over the festivities, and an outside wooden deck lets diners watch the sky for menu recommendations spelled out in clouds.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Eden Garden Bar & Grill sprinkles blooming hunger pangs with a host of traditional Mediterranean dishes served in a warm, intimate setting. Guests lamentably unable to stick round pegs into square holes can comfortably stick a soft pita into the hummus ($7) or sink recently sharpened incisors into four pieces of falafel, which come flanked by sesame seed sauce ($8). The chicken shawarma, served with hummus and salad ($13), stokes the fires of the poultry partial, and the crispy prawns represent the underwater contingent by enlisting seaweed salad as its running mate ($18).
Voted best French restaurant by IE Weekly, Christophe's serves up a variety of Francophone fixin's, eponymously prepared by Chef Christophe Jardillier, who honed his culinary chops on cutting boards throughout France. The sleek dining room, dominated by leather and mahogany hues, creates a swank backdrop for house specialties such as the beef bourguignon, a hearty dish composed of beef, mushrooms, and vegetables in a rich red-wine sauce ($21.95). After dinner, sashay toward the lounge for cocktails and live music on Wednesdays through Saturdays, courtesy of jazz musicians, enthusiastic karaokists, and sassy rapping grandmas.
Named Best Bar by the Pasadena Weekly in 2009 and 2010 and a City's Best Lounge by Pasadena magazine in 2010, Magnolia Lounge keeps displaced Dixie drawls well-lubricated with its extensive list of specialty drinks. Give your gullet a gander with the I’m Effen Sexy martini, containing Effen Black Cherry vodka, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Peachtree Schnapps and cranberry juice, or toast to the titular tastes of the Magnolia cocktail, containing Citron vodka, infused raspberries, Newman's Own lemonade, and mint. Food-wise, Magnolia Lounge's eclectic menu matches the laid-back elegance of the candlelit atmosphere. Start a chic evening out with a french fry trio of classic-cut, yukon gold, and sweet-potato fries served with barbecue ranch, garlic aioli, and chili-honey sauce ($8) before pairing a grilled steak sandwich ($13) with a non-grilled glass of Stoneleigh pinot noir ($10). The fried green tomatoes, with basil cream-cheese filling, cucumber salsa, and roasted red pepper sauce ($8), will bring back forgotten flavors as it layers on some new ones, and the Magnolia cheeseburger decks out its sirloin slab in a seersucker suit of aged cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic aioli ($12).